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SalamAir targets long-haul flights with Airbus A330neo

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SalamAir says the Airbus A330neo will substantially increase the range of its fleet
  • Low-cost airline boosts fleet range with new aircraft
  • Move fits in with Oman’s plans for increased tourism

SalamAir, Oman’s first low-cost airline, will lease three Airbus A330neo aircraft from Dublin-headquartered Avolon to expand its fleet and network.

The three new Airbus A330neo wide-body aircraft will have a dual-class configuration with 365 economy seats and 12 premium flatbed seats.

The two companies signed the agreement on Tuesday June 20, the first day of the Paris Air Show 2023.

In addition, the A330neo will substantially increase flying distance compared to SalamAir’s existing fleet. It will offer improved fuel efficiency, reduced fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions compared to previous generation aircraft.

SalamAir also expects the new aircraft to help reduce operational costs.

“The extended range of the A330neo will allow SalamAir to efficiently serve medium-range destinations, particularly in the Far East and Europe,” said Mohamed Ahmed, CEO of SalamAir.

“The expansion of aviation traffic in the Middle East is set to continue and the region is a focus for further leasing opportunities for us,” added Paul Geaney, president and chief commercial officer, Avolon.

SalamAir commenced commercial operations in 2017 and flies six A320neo, six A321neo and one Airbus A321 freighter.

In 2016 Oman launched a 25-year strategy to increase the number of tourists to 11.7 million per year by 2040 from 2.6 million in 2015.

The Gulf state wants to grow tourism’s GDP contribution to six percent, from 2.6 percent, by building new hotels and promoting destination “clusters”.

Oman’s Vision 2040 economic plan has allocated OMR20 billion ($51 billion) to further grow the sector.

In April Oman extended visa-free entry to 103 nationalities.

Official statistics published that month showed that three-to-five-star hotels saw a 49.9 percent annual revenue increase to OMR73.3 million in March.

The number of hotel guests grew 25.6 percent to 522,753 and occupancy stood at 56.4 percent.

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