We want to be the best station in SalamAir network

M Shahabuddin, Country Manager Bangladesh says
- A Monitor Report01 Oct, 2019 | 165 Views|-+
Dhaka : Oman's low-cost carrier SalamAir took to the air in 2017 and has grown significantly since its launch. The airline is now flying to more than 25 destinations.

M Shahabuddin, Country Manager Bangladesh, SalamAir said this while talking to The Bangladesh Monitor at his office in the city recently.

Shahabuddin said, "SalamAir is operating daily flights to Dhaka. The airline authority wants to see Dhaka as one of the most successful stations. The aim of Team Dhaka is also the same - we want to be the best station in SalamAir network."

Fast growth

Giving the background of the airline's fast growth in Bangladesh, the Country Manager said, on August 29, 2018, SalamAir began operating flights to Dhaka with four flights a week. Gradually the airline increased flights to five and from July 1 this year they are operating seven flights a week.

"All our flights are going about 90 to 95 per cent full. Most of our flights are from point to point. The destinations, we fly to, include cities in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait City and Alexandria in Egypt." From October 3 Kabul is going to be the carrier's new destination, the Country Manager said.

He further said that the airline is likely to start flying to Chattogram soon with four flights a week to start with, pending regulatory approval.

Shahabuddin said, three more Airbus A320neo will be added to the airline's all-Airbus fleet this year, taking the number of aircraft to ten. The aircraft are configured with 180 seats, all Economy Class.

May be in future the airline will go for Premium Economy, he mentioned.

About the market in Oman, he said some 800,000 Bangladeshis are working in the Sultanate, mostly in Muscat and Salalah. Majority of the people are from Chattogram and neighbouring places.

Umrah

Regarding Umrah pilgrims, he said, they carried 70 to 80 Umrah passengers on every flight. That was a good opportunity for Bangladeshi passengers also.

He said, "SalamAir was in Bangladesh market at the right time. There was a crisis of seats then, nobody was getting one (seats). We have catered to the demand as best as possible."

This year, they are operating daily flights - so it (Umrah sales) will still be better. Bangladesh is one of the top six countries for Umrah for the airline, he said.

Shahabuddin informed that the airline will be uplifting food from here. He said, visit of SalamAir delegation and evaluation of Biman Flight Catering Centre's (BFCC) presentations are complete.

"Very soon we hope to provide Bangladeshi food to our passengers. They will definitely prefer it as BFCC food is good."

The airline charges USD6 for meal per person and USD11 for baggage till destination. For groups - minimum 10 persons - it becomes inclusive, If anyone wants to add to that, s/he will have to pay USD11 more.

He said the airline carries cargo in its bellyhold - two tonnes to six tonnes, depending on flight load, from Dhaka.

Shahabuddin said. "There may be visa and other issues, like withdrawal of an airline or two, but I see Bangladesh's aviation sector growing by over 10 per cent every year, or may be even more than that."

SalamAir itself is doing very good. They have faced the challenges with support from the market - their trade partners had been very supportive, the General Manager concluded.

Flights to Chattogram

SalamAir is launching flights on Muscat-Chattogram route effective October 7, operated by brand new Airbus A320neo. The carrier will operate four weekly flights on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The fare for one way starts from OMR30.

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