SalamAir in for the long haul

SalamAir, Oman's fast-growing airline, is further expanding its network and joining the long haul market. CEO Mohamed Ahmed said that over the past two financial periods, the airline has made notable strides according to industry standards.

Mohamed Ahmed

Mohamed Ahmed: "It's safe to say we have become a benchmark in the industry." Picture: SalamAir

Reliability, affordability, and value for money service are the airline’s utmost priority since the launch of its commercial operations in 2017. Pioneering low-cost carrier SalamAir is committed to pursue its growth in line with Oman Vision 2040.

It’s strategic development plan aims at meeting the nation's growing demand for affordable travel options, generating further employment and creating business opportunities in various sectors in Oman.

Captain Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir said on its 6th anniversary: “We have achieved many milestones, survived, and overcome many adversities with grace and success. Starting very small, it’s safe to say we have become a benchmark in the industry, and we couldn’t have achieved it without the support of our customers and the die-hard supporters of our vision.”

According to him, SalamAir has achieved a complete recovery from the pandemic with a significant increase in passenger numbers, revenue, and profitability.

With the latest addition of Fujairah (UAE), SalamAir now serves a total of 39 destinations. The airline ‘s domestic network comprises scheduled flights connecting Muscat, Salalah, Suhar, Duqm, and Masirah.

“We have successfully established strong links between Oman and neighboring countries such as the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, and Lebanon”, he told Arabian Aerospace.

The airline has expanded its operations to encompass various regions, including East Asia and, more recently, Europe.

Its network spans across Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and India. “We remain dedicated to further expanding our routes, aiming to provide enhanced connectivity and seamless travel experiences for our valued passengers. ”

Routes to seasonal destinations will be reopened this summer between Muscat and Baku, Beirut, Bursa, Sarajevo and Trabzon, which has now a year-round direct connection due to its popularity.

During its first six years of operation, the airline has carried more than 7.5 millions passengers with a direct impact on tourism.

It lays emphasis on “omanisation” (standing at 65%) and is dedicated to strengthen employment opportunities.

In 2022, SalamAir generated an indirect economic impact of around 840 million Omani Rials.

SalamAir is dedicated to strategically and gradually growing its fleet. During the Paris Air Show 2023, the airline announced that it will introduce three Airbus A330neo aircraft on a lease from Avolon. The first deliveries will start next October.

“The decision to introduce the Airbus A330neo complements the existing fleet of Airbus aircraft, which includes the A320neo, A321neo, and an A321 freighter,” said Captain Mohamed Ahmed. He added that the twin-aisle jet will enhance the airline’s capacity to respond to the growing demand of the market and attract inbound tourists to Oman.

SalamAir’s fleet caters for diverse market needs. As part of its commitment, its fleet consists of various aircraft types. It plans to introduce three Embraer E195-E2 aircraft, expected to be received by the end of the year. With purchase rights for six more E2s, SalamAir will be the first operator of this type in the Middle East.

“This strategic fleet mix underscores our strong belief in the growth potential of air travel and reaffirms our position as one of the region's leading low-cost carriers”, underlined SalamAir’s CEO.

He noted that SalamAir has been named Oman’s most trusted brand for the second consecutive year and has secured IATA’s operational safety audit registration.

According to Captain Mohamed Ahmed: "The IOSA programme enables SalamAir to benchmark its operation safety standards by improving its operational management and control systems”.

He added that safety will be one of the key factors for the airline’s “progress towards excellent service, in line with the trend of new and modern aviation worldwide.”

SalamAir is determined to remain on the upward trend as a homegrown carrier to make its operations innovative, cost-efficient, and customer-centric.

“Together with a positive outlook and diligent efforts, we are confident in the bright future ahead for SalamAir and the aviation industry as a whole. ”

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha Deenapanray

Anuradha is a francophone editor for African and Arabian Aerospace magazines.