Oman’s SalamAir Leases Two Airbus A321LRs

SalamAir has confirmed that it will lease two new Airbus A321LRs. These will be used to cover peak-season operations and increased winter demand to Europe.

A321LR
The A321LR is part of the NEO family. Photo: Airbus

Expansion plans

Aviation Week reports that the Muscat-based carrier will be leading these from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS). SalamAir’s CEO Mohammed Ahmed spoke of this excitement of the move today.

“This airplane is a game-changer,” he said, as reported by Aviation Week.

The executive didn’t announce what routes the new A321LRs will operate on. Although, the aircraft’s capability of holding a range of eight hours means that it could easily serve Europe from Oman. This will be fitting for the airline, which is looking to meet the growing market demand for these charter flights.

At the moment, the only year-long services that it operates in regions near Europe are to Turkey. Here, it flies to Trabzon and the populous city of Istanbul.

There are also seasonal services to Baku in Azerbaijan and Tbilisi in Georgia. Nonetheless, all of these destinations are on the outskirts of Eastern Europe. With the arrival of the new airliners, they will be able to look at routes expanding further into the continent.

SalamAir A320neo
A SalamAir A320neo. Photo: SalamAir

Growing fleet

The jets are due to arrive with SalamAir next year. They are part of the low-cost carrier’s plan to grow its fleet to 20 planes. Additionally, it has agreed to two A320neos along with the A321LRs.

At the moment, it operates seven aircraft, all of which are leased A320neos. These are split between three 174-seaters and four 180-seaters. However, the airline was only founded in January 2017, making it just two years old. With its development targets, it’s on course to gain a greater presence in the aviation industry.

To back this, Ahmed has said that he is looking to mix in some fully-purchased units with its growing fleet. The firm also considered A220s as part of its growth. Furthermore, Ahmed said that his company is still open to adding smaller aircraft to operations.

SalamAir neo
SalamAir is a big fan of the A320neo type. Photo: SalamAir

Positive steps

GECAS is also positive about its new partnership with SalamAir. The group said SVP and regional manager, Michael O’Mahoney spoke of the agreement.

“These aircraft are key additions to SalamAir’s fleet and will help them to efficiently expand into key markets in Asia, Africa, and Europe,” he added, according to Aviation Week’s report.

Just a few days ago, SAS revealed that it will debut the A321LR on a transatlantic service between Copenhagen and Boston. The first of these narrowbody planes is slated to be delivered to the airline in September 2020.

Meanwhile, SalamAir recently announced that its open to a initial public offering (IPO) as it expects to break even this year. Simple Flying reached out to SalamAir for comment on its operations but did not hear back before publication. We will update the article with any further announcements.

What do you think of SalamAir’s expansion plans? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section.

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