Oman Air CEO Wayne Pearce said the Middle Eastern carrier is looking at adding more Airbus SAS and Boeing planes to its fleet following a 30 percent jump in passenger numbers so far this year.
The state-owned airline could add Airbus A330s to boost wide-body capacity prior to the arrival of six Boeing 787s from 2015, plus more single-aisle 737s from the US manufacturer, Pearce said in an interview.
Planes would most likely be leased.
“We are doing studies on whether we should add extra aircraft earlier,” Pearce said in Dubai, where he was attending the Arabian Travel Market 2012 conference, adding that Oman is also aiming to add its first freighter as cargo volumes climb.
Oman Air is looking to add planes after a surge in bookings to Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the Indian subcontinent, Pearce said. The current fleet of 26 planes consists of 15 737-800s, four A330-200s, three A330-300s, two Embraer SA E175 regional jets -with another pair due to be delivered later this year - and two ATR 42 turboprops from Avions de Transport Regional.
The Muscat-based company aims to reduce its losses this year following a OMR110m (US$286m) shortfall in 2011 amid stronger business-class and leisure demand across its 41-destination network, Pearce said in the interview yesterday.
Oman Air may add a dedicated freighter aircraft by the end of the year, most probably leasing a plane converted from passenger use, such as the Airbus A300 or A310, the CEO said. The jetliner would be deployed transporting food products, pharmaceuticals and clothing from India and China to Muscat.
“We think there’s a lot of freight we can access from the East,” Pearce said.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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