Muscat: Fares for SalamAir — Oman’s first budget airline — may start from less than OMR15 one way, a senior official at the airline said.
Speaking to the Times of Oman, François Bouteiller, chief executive officer (CEO) of SalamAir said: “Tickets for SalamAir may even start lower than OMR15 one way, but it will depend on when you book and what you book and the period (off peak, etc.).”
Bouteiller said that fares would depend on the class people choose from. “If you intend to travel to Salalah with or without luggage (in addition to your hand bag) or if you’d like to have the flexibility to change your ticket at the last minute, etc... this will have an impact on the basic fare which will apply. And, as you get closer to the day of travel (earlier bookings tend to have the best prices), the prices will increase slightly,” he told the Times of Oman.
Speaking about expected fares to Dubai, he said: “Not as a ‘standard’ average fare since the airport taxes in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) are quite high and have increased (Base fare is not higher, but the amount to be paid is slightly higher due to taxes that we have to transfer to the authorities). But again, remember that you’ll always have a ‘promotional fare’ available, which will come in general lower than this.”
However, at all times, SalamAir will offer competitive fares in all sectors of its network, CEO Bouteiller asserted.
SalamAir plans to connect Muscat with Salalah with four flights a day, besides flying to Dubai and Jeddah, initially.
It is also looking at launching flights to East Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
The launch of the budget airline may bring down fares in some sectors. “Why pay for something which you don’t need? That’s the idea. Suppose if you are going to Salalah and you are not carrying a suitcase, then we will offer you a discounted or an interesting price,” CEO Bouteiller had said earlier.
Awarded its air service operator licence by the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) in early 2016, SalamAir’s fleet of three Airbus A320s is scheduled to take to the skies at the end of the year. The brainchild of ASAAS—a national investment and development company—SalamAir was formed to meet Oman’s rapidly growing demand for air traffic, which is expected to grow by 40 per cent by 2019.