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SalamAir Signs Letter Of Intent For The Embraer E195-E2

SimpleFlying 10/1/2022 Molly Russell
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  • Embraer
    Stock Code: ERJ
    Date Founded: 1969-08-19
    CEO: Francisco Gomes Neto
    Headquarters Location: Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Key Product Lines: Embraer 170, Embraer 175, Embraer 190, Embraer 195, Embraer 175-E2, Embraer 190-E2, Embraer 195-E2
    Business Type: Planemaker

Omani low-cost carrier SalamAir has become the first Middle East-based customer for Embraer’s E195-E2 regional jet. On Thursday, SalamAir chief executive Captain Mohammed Ahmed signed a Memorandum of Understand with Embraer head Arjan Meijer for 12 E195-E2 aircraft, the largest variant of the new E2 series. Embraer has yet to publish the order.

Upcoming additions

Speaking at the signing, Ahmed confirmed that the deal will have two phases, with six jets joining the carrier’s fleet in November 2023. The order is still open; however, a confirmation is expected in the coming months.

Launched in 2019, the E195-E2 can accommodate up to 146 passengers in standard configuration while offering a range of 2,655 nautical miles. Compared to the previous generation, the E195-E2 boasts 17.5% greater fuel efficiency, owing to its optimized wing design and advanced avionics.

The increased efficiencies appear to have drawn SalamAir to the jet, with Ahmed adding, “Purchase of E2 jets will lower the cost including fuel, and it will also help us to increase our domestic and regional routes and other international destinations.”

The carrier is known to have examined several options to complement its charter services and smaller airport connections such as Sohar, Down, Musandam, and Khasab. In 2019, Ahmed noted in an interview with The National that he would be evaluating the possibility of adding the popular Airbus A220 to SalamAir’s fleet, however, the E195-E2 won out.

“There’s advantage to sticking to one plane type that fits all, but if business plans prove that having smaller capacity or longer range would bring additional revenue then of course we’d look at it,” explained Ahmed.

Increasing connectivity

In 2021, SalamAir introduced four new Airbus A321neo jets to its fleet, becoming the first Omani carrier to do so. The aircraft’s extended range has allowed the carrier to up its international offerings, providing the Sultanate of Oman with budget flights to over 30 destinations across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The Omani budget airline currently operates a mix of Airbus A320neo and A321neo aircraft across over 30 destinations. Photo: SalamAir.

The latest fleet expansion for SalamAir comes as Oman works towards expanding tourism within the region. The Sultanate has notably been working towards its Vision Oman 2040, which aims to stimulate growth and improve economic competitiveness in the region. Earlier this year, the carrier announced a strategic partnership with flag carrier Oman Air, expanding the carrier's codeshare agreement alongside Vision Oman 2040.

The partnership has aided SalamAir’s expansion into the Indian subcontinent, with the airline adding new frequencies from Salalah and Muscat to Calicut, Jaipur, Lucknow, and Trivandrum back in April.

“Our aim is always to provide our customers with greater connectivity and convenience, and the addition of these routes will cater to the expat population, business travellers, and tourists,” wrote Ahmed in an earlier statement. “Our strategic cooperation with Oman Air enables us to serve the Indian market and augment demand and traffic volume, thus fulfilling the Oman Vision 2040.”

What are your thoughts on SalamAir’s latest fleet additions? What other aircraft would you like to see the carrier operate in the future? Let us know in the comments.

Sources: ch-aviation, Air Data News, The National

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