By Staff writer
State carrier considering either Airbus A350-900 or Boeing's 787 to replace 12 older A330
State carrier Oman Air's is planning to order Airbus’s A350-900 model and Boeing’s 787-9 or -10, chief executive Paul Gregorowitsch said at a briefing in London.
The negotiations with Boeing and Airbus are to start in the coming weeks, and the new order is aimed at replacing 12 older A330 planes in the carrier's current fleet.
The move is part of a wider strategy, developed by consultants Seabury, to build a fleet of 70 planes, 25 of them wide-bodies plus 45 Boeing 737 single-aisle jets.
The carrier already has 13 Boeing Dreamliners in its fleet, but Gregorowitsch explained that the A350 might be a better choice for long routes, such as to destinations like South Africa.
The CEO said that the strategy specified new long-haul routes including Madrid, Brussels, Rome and Moscow in Europe plus cities in Asia and Africa, adding that the carrier wouldn’t directly serve the US.
He also added that Oman Air was aiming to make a profit at an operating level by the end of 2017. The Omani government’s funding contribution to the carrier is planned to drop to 34 million Omani rials ($88 million) this year from 64 million Omani rials in 2015.