Muscat: The Chief Executive Officer of Salam Air, Captain Mohammed Ahmed, has announced that the airline is planning to double the number of destinations it serves by the end of 2019 and hugely increase passenger numbers as well as pushing up the Omanisation of the workforce.
Last month, at the inauguration of the airline’s first sales office in Salalah, Captain Ahmed said that the carrier will begin direct flights to some of the GCC destinations such as Abu Dhabi and Kuwait from Salalah.
Now, Ahmed has also revealed that the new plan will include destinations like Tehran and Mashhad, in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
“The company currently has 17 destinations, including a number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Arab and Asian countries,” Captain Ahmed said. “We plan to almost double that number by the end of this year.”
He added that as a result of this expansion in services, “There is also a plan to increase the company’s fleet during the current year to 9 aircraft of different sizes.”
Salam Air has transported 1.6 million passengers since beginning operations in 2016 and is targeting 2 million passengers in 2019 alone.
The CEO expanded on the idea of adding more routes in Iran, saying this comes as a result of the two governments granting more facilities to travellers regarding visas.
Captain Mohammed Ahmed also said that the company is seeking to expand its presence in the Arabian Gulf. In May 2019, it plans to operate direct flights from Muscat to Kuwait and Riyadh, as well as direct flights between Salalah and Abu Dhabi and the resumption of flights between Sohar and Salalah.
He added that the company is considering adding more routes to Egypt after the inauguration of Alexandria and that the occupancy rate of the company’s fleet has reached 85 per cent since the beginning of 2019.
On the cooperation between Salam Air and Oman Air, he added that the company is complementing the role of Oman Air in marketing and promoting the Sultanate, attracting more tourists and linking it to the countries around the world.
As for the Omanisation in Salam Air, the CEO said that the percentage is currently 65 per cent and will increase with the expansion of the aircraft fleet and the launch of the new destination. He confirmed that Omani youth is the basis of the company’s growth and its future.