Muscat: Oman’s first budget airline, SalamAir, will officially launch its maiden flight to Muscat International Airport from Salalah Airport today (Monday).
The first flight will depart at 10.05am local time from Salalah, heading to Muscat International Airport.
“SalamAir will first operate two flights daily for 10 days to Muscat, going up to three, and finally four flights, in a couple of weeks,” SalamAir Chairman, Engineer Sheikh Khalid Al Yahmadi,said.
Focusing on its four values of care, hospitality, confidence and forward thinking, the airline plans to operate five aircraft by the end of the year, to destinations such as Dubai, Jeddah, Karachi, Sialkot and Multan.
Donning the blue and green logo, SalamAir signifies the values of Dhofar Governorate during the Khareef season, as well as Oman’s maritime history.
The budget airline offers three fares: Light, friendly and flexi, each having their own perks.
Light offers the lowest available fare, with passengers allowed to carry 7kg of hand baggage, while the friendly fare permits 20kg of check-in baggage with the option to change flights for a fee.
Flexi allows a maximum check-in baggage of 20kg with the option to change flights for free or refund tickets for a fee.
“We want to give the people the choice and the flexibility of shaping their journeys, and offer great experiences to make air travel more affordable,” CEO Francois Bouteiller said.
“This will enable more people to fly and allow everyone to explore new destinations,” he added.
When asked about the risks in the aviation industry,as many companies are cutting costs, Chairman Al Yahyai replied, “Why do you think these airlines are shrinking and cutting costs? It is because their running cost is too high. A lot of companies are cutting costs and shrinking their operations, including Emirates. We expect the market to be driven by budget airlines… we have calculated that.”
“This day will be remembered as an important step towards leveraging the aviation industry of Oman,” Bouteiller remarked.