SalamAir to link Indian cities to Sohar, Salalah

Oman Sunday 03/April/2022 21:17 PM
By: Times News Service
SalamAir to link Indian cities to Sohar, Salalah
Captain Mohammed Ahmed, the CEO of SalamAir

Muscat: More travel options will soon be made available between Oman and cities in India following the announcement of more flights to the subcontinent by low-cost airline SalamAir.

The airline has drawn up plans for operations from three cities in Oman, and while some of them are already underway, announcements regarding the rest will be made soon, said Captain Mohammed Ahmed, the CEO of SalamAir.

“As you may already be aware, we announced our strategic partnership with national carrier Oman Air, which furthers our codeshare agreement, and we are very pleased to announce the introduction of our scheduled flights from Muscat to Trivandrum, Lucknow and Jaipur in India,” he said.

“In addition, we are also now flying non-stop from Salalah to Calicut and we hope to soon introduce four non-stop flights from Suhar to Calicut as well, which we will announce soon,” he added. “India has always been a very important market for us, and we will keep looking for more opportunity in the coming future.”

Flights from Salalah to Calicut will operate on Friday and Sunday, starting from April 3 onwards. Services from Muscat to Jaipur and Thiruvananthapuram will both operate six days a week. While the airline also flies to Pakistan, it is currently looking at expanding routes to other South Asian countries.

Impact of COVID
During his interview with Times of Oman, Ahmed also shed light on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on SalamAir. The travel and tourism sector was after all not just among the first to be impacted by the virus, but also among those that was most strongly affected.

 “I think COVID-19 affected every airline in the industry across the world and we were no exception,” admitted Ahmed. “But I’m proud to say that the SalamAir board of directors, management and staff weathered the storm.

“Our whole organisation worked as a team and family, and put in a lot of effort to find innovative ways of staying in business and assisting passengers’ movement, while upholding the highest safety standards and adhering to directions of the authorities. We managed to assist communities, medical staff and other passengers with charter flights to many countries, some of which we operated in for the first time,” he added.

Having taken delivery of the airline’s second A321neo SalamAir’s eight-plane fleet expects to be busy during the summer months post-Ramadan, when many families will embark on their summer holidays. Excitement at travelling is higher this time of the year, with many people forced to stay grounded on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the measures enabled to curb its spread.

“I think people are extremely relieved to hear those restrictions are being lifted in many destinations and travel is almost becoming what it used to be,” said Ahmed. “Yes there might still be a little reservation, however people seem to be a bit more reassured to travel, and we will provide our customers safe and convenient travel options to ensure their travel is pleasant.”

A number of developments have taken place at SalamAir since the start of the year: the positive travel trends globally were complemented by the delivery of the new aircraft, while the airline also introduced its new Luban fare class that offers passengers a range of all-inclusive benefits.

The airline’s strategic partnership with Oman Air means it can offer passengers easier connectivity to more cities, with more expansion planned in the coming months. “I believe we are almost at full operation…thankfully, we see a healthy demand for travel and with most of the countries withdrawing COVID-19 restrictions, many are more confident to travel. We see a lot of business travel picking up, as well as leisure,” said the CEO. “We hope this trend continues throughout the year and we will continue to expand our network to more favourable destinations.”