Muscat: Oman's national carrier is likely to add more aircraft its fleet, said CEO Paul Gregorowitsch
He added that talks are on with Boeing Co. and Airbus Group SE for an order for the latest generation of wide-body jets to replace 12 older A330 planes.
"Oman Air plans to open negotiations in the coming weeks, with a focus on Airbus’s A350-900 model and the 787-9 or -10 from its U.S. rival", Paul Gregorowitsch said at a briefing in London.
He revealed that the A350 might hold an edge while flying on the longest routes to destinations such as South Africa.
Meanwhile, a top official from the carrier’s headquarters in Muscat told the Times of Oman that the airline could not reveal further details at this stage.
"At this stage, we are not in position to give further details, the same will be available after we finalise the negotiations with manufacturers," said Abdulrazaq J. Al Raisi, the executive vice president of Corporate Services and Business Development at Oman Air.
Oman Air has already sourced two 787-8s from Kenya Airways on three-year lease terms as part of a deal to purchase landing slots at London’s Heathrow airport from the African carrier and Air France, adding to the two Dreamliner aircraft already in its fleet.
Quoting Gregorowitsch, the media reported that Oman Air is aiming to make a profit at an operating level by the end of 2017, with its state owner’s funding contribution due to drop to OMR34 million ($88 million) this year from OMR64 million in 2015.
The company is currently negotiating with two carriers in Europe and one in Asia as it seeks a joint venture partner with which to operate flights as an alternative to joining a global airline alliance, the report added.