MUSCAT: With the emergence of Salalah as an up-and-coming tourist destination and aviation hub, SalamAir is eying to connect the southern Omani city with direct flights to Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, plus its current flights to Sohar.
The move is subject to discussion with local authorities and stakeholders. The airline currently flies 21 direct flights to Salalah from Muscat a week, as well as connects Muscat International Airport to 14 regional destinations. Should Salalah become a second center of operations for SalamAir, the airline will base part of its growing fleet there.
Salalah has the potential of being our hub, it will enable us to take major strides to further expand our operations and network.Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir
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Oman’s first affordable travel airline just opened its first sales office in Salalah, the Governorate of Dhofar to reach more customers, while providing them with a convenient product offering and a full suite of services. The airline carried 1.4 million passengers since the start of its operations. Of these, 600 thousand passengers were to and from Salalah.
Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir said, “Salalah has the potential of being our hub, it will enable us to take major strides to further expand our operations and network. We also want to achieve greater air connectivity for Oman, which is key to unlocking the Sultanate’s economic diversification strategy and growth potential, as well as spur key sectors like tourism, aviation and logistics in the process. Our decision will depend on the facilities that will be provided to make Salalah a hub.”
He added, “Oman boasts a world-class aviation infrastructure led by the recently opened Muscat International Airport, as well as the Salalah Airport. This is a very important proposition for the entire country to attract investment and ensure that enough capacity is created to accommodate demand. Overall, this move will foster air transport growth. It will also offer the end user increased connectivity and reduced travel time, while providing businesses with access to a wider and more competitive marketplace.”
The Captain concluded, “Direct international flights from Salalah will create additional demand and reflect positively on the local economy. In the future, we will consider flying direct to India from Salalah if we get the traffic rights.”
Today, the SalamAir network consists of 14 destinations including Muscat, Salalah, Sohar, Dubai, Doha, Jeddah, Karachi, Multan, Sialkot, Shiraz, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Dhaka, and Alexandria. SalamAir recently became the first Oman-based carrier to receive the new Airbus A320neo aircraft making it one of the early Middle East recipients and operators of the highly rated model. In addition to the delivered aircraft, another five Airbus A320neo are expected to join SalamAir’s fleet in H1 2019. A cost-conscious menu of additional services is also available to guests, which includes extra luggage allowance, as well as seat and meal selection.