Oman’s first budget airline – SalamAir – is ready for takeoff to one of the world’s fastest-growing markets after receiving approval to fly to three Pakistani cities starting this month. The cities included in the announcement are Sialkot, Multan, and Karachi.
Francois Bouteiller, CEO of SalamAir, said in a statement: “The first flight to Sialkot will take off on May 16 and to Multan on May 22nd, 2017. Both of them will be operated three times a week and offer connectivity capabilities to Jeddah, Medina, Salalah, and Dubai.”
The airlines’ inaugural flights will operate under the following schedule:
Schedules for flights to Karachi have not been published by the airline.
Muscat, Oman (MCT) to Sialkot, Pakistan (SKT) effective May 16th, 2017 *operates 3x a week
OV253 Muscat 11:00 p.m. departure -> Sialkot 3:20 a.m. arrival (+1) A320 Tues, Sat, Sun
OV254 Sialkot 4:00 a.m. departure -> Muscat 6:20 a.m. arrival A320 Weds, Sun, Mon
Muscat, Oman (MCT) to Multan, Pakistan (MUX) effective May 22nd, 2017 *operates 3x a week
OV201 Muscat 11:40 p.m. departure -> Multan 3:25 a.m. arrival (+1) A320 Tues, Thurs, Sun
OV202 Multan 4:15 a.m. departure -> Muscat 6:00 a.m. arrival A320 Weds, Fri, Mon
SalamAir began operations back in January 2017, and has grown very quickly. It is owned by the Muscat National Development and Investment Company (ASAAS), which was awarded a government tender a year ago for approval to operate flights. SalamAir is the first low-cost carrier ever to be based in Oman, a small country nestled between the Arabian Sea and the Arabian Peninsula.
The airline currently operates a fleet of three Airbus A320 aircraft being leased from the LATAM Group in South America. Each aircraft can hold 174 passengers in an all-economy seating arrangement, however passengers do have the choice of how much they want to pay for the flight, depending on your baggage. These new fare options are named “Light,” “Friendly,” and “Flex.”
Light fares are designed for passengers who travel light (typically businessmen) who only require carry-on handheld baggage. The “Friendly” fare includes 20 kilos of checked luggage and 7 kilos of hand baggage. This option is most common among those embarking on a vacation. Finally, the “Flex” fare owns all the characteristics of a “Friendly” fare with priority check-in and the ability to change flights will no fee.
By the end of the month, SalamAir will fly to six destinations from Muscat International Airport, Salalah, Oman; Multan, Pakistan; Sialkot, Pakistan; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Medina, Saudi Arabia; and Dubai-Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates.
The airline plans to expand with more aircraft in the coming months to accommodate for what could be a 40% growth in air travel in Oman from this year compared to 2016.