Muscat, Jun.15 (ONA) ---- Captain Mohammed Ahmed, CEO of Salam Air; the first budget airline in the Sultanate, announced that in July, the company will launch two destinations to Trabzon and Istanbul cities in Turkey, bringing the number of destinations to 20.

He told Oman News Agency (ONA) that Salam Air will start on July 1st operating three direct flights a week between Muscat and Trabzon in Turkey on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, making it the first carrier in the Sultanate to travel directly to Trabzon. He added, "On July 3rd, the company will operate a direct flight to the Turkish City of Istanbul, linking Muscat International Airport to Sabiha Airport with two flights per week on Sundays and Wednesdays".

Speaking about Salam Air's readiness for Salalah Tourism Festival, Captain Mohammed Ahmed, CEO of Salam Air said that the company will operate two direct flights per week from Salalah to Kuwait, adding that the company has a plan to connect Salalah Airport with a number of GCC cities during the upcoming period.

He further said, "During Salalah Tourism Festival, the company will operate six flights daily from Muscat International Airport to Salalah Airport and a daily flight from Sohar Airport to Salalah Airport to provide tourists and visitors from the Sultanate the opportunity to enjoy the marvelous atmosphere during the season".

He explained that prior to Eid Al Fitr, Salam Air inaugurated two GCC stations namely Riyadh and Kuwait, as well as Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which was inaugurated after the Eid.

About the performance of the company during the first five months of 2019, he confirmed that Salam Air received and is receiving a great response due to the development and increase in the number of destinations, fleet and services, which reflected positively on the performance of the company by the end of May 2019, embodied in the company's high return rate of 100 percent and occupation rate to 84 percent, compared with 66 percent in the same period in 2018. He added that the number of passengers doubled, offset by an increase in capacity by 40 percent and an increase in punctual compliance to 90 percent in May.

On Salam Air's philosophy behind launching seasonal stations, he said that the company has permanent stations, the stations that Slam Air operates direct flights to and they receive a high demand from passengers throughout the year, such as the Gulf stations and there are seasonal stations, which are mostly demanded during the summer and less popular during the rest of the year.

He said that Salam Air will not make direct flights this year to Baku because of the small number of fleet and the delay of Airbus in the delivery of aircraft.

On the new aircrafts, the company said that before the Eid, the airline received the second Airbus A320, known for fuel saving, passenger comfort and low noise, and the company officials will go to Toulouse this weekend to receive a new aircraft that has been contracted earlier.

He added that the new aircrafts that will enter the service will help the company to increase its flights to some destinations, such as Alexandria to become daily flights, adding that the company currently has six Airbus 320 aircrafts and the company's fleet will have 9 aircrafts by the end of this year.

On the career opportunities provided by Salam Air, Captain Mohammed Ahmed, CEO of Salam Air said that as a result of the expansion of the stations and the entry of new aircrafts into service, the company has conducted interviews last week for Omanis to join the company in the field of air hospitality (male and female) and is in the process of training pilots some of whom have already graduated and joined the company.

He added that the number of employees of the company now reached 380 employees, 63 percent of them are Omanis, and there is a plan to increase the percentage during the coming period.