Salalah Air, Oman’s first private airline, is inching closer to launching its flight operations as it signed MoUs with three major aircraft suppliers within a span of four months.
The latest memorandum of understanding was signed on Tuesday with RUAG Aviation for the supply of six Dornier 228 next-generation aircraft.
RUAG Aviation is a leading supplier, support provider and integrator of systems and components for civil and military aviation worldwide.
As per the MoU, RUAG Aviation will have long-term cooperation for aircraft supply and other technical support to ensure smooth operation of the low-cost carrier in the Sultanate.
Ali Masoud Mohammed, Managing-Director and Board Member of Salalah Air; and Philippe Erni, RUAG Aviation’s Regional Director of Sales, signed the MoU.
Also present were Mohammed al Arasha, CEO, Salalah Air, and other senior staff members of the newly launched airline.
The supply, according to Ali Masoud, would be done in a phased manner but the delivery of the first aircraft is likely very soon.
The RUAG representative explained Dornier 228 as a “comfortable 19-seater aircraft that has a number of distinct features like high payload transport, special mission sensor platform, renowned short-field performance, hot and high performance and
unprepared airfields. Dornier 228 is excellent to handle, proven reliable, efficient and highly productive.”
Salalah Air had signed MoUs with Canada’s Viking and Brazilian firm Embraer for the supply of executive jets for the airline’s flight operations, preparations for which is in a final stage.
Al Arasha expressed happiness over positive developments in the recent past and support from authorities for the airline.
“I am happy to receive a no objection letter from Public Authority of Civil Aviation that allows us to operate in air cargo service with unlimited payload. This is an opportunity for us and a boost to the sophisticated cargo village at the Salalah Airport. Such decisions will help develop cargo movements from Salalah and neighbouring Duqm,” he said.
Al Arasha is hopeful of smooth logistics management, staff management and documentation, etc to start the airline’s operation but refrained from committing any launch date. “Being first private airline in the Sultanate, we have to set a benchmark. Now we have almost reached the level from where operation can
“Initially we will start with a domestic charter operation and depending upon our licence upgradation, our regional and other broader operations will start. Our current focus, however, is to launch the operation first,” he said.