Oman carrier looking to capitalize on Pakistan’s ‘corridor of opportunities’

Omanis take photos on the tarmac during the unveiling of SalamAir at the Muscat International Airport on January 29, 2017. (AFP)

A budget carrier from Oman is looking to capitalize on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a “corridor of opportunities” and a catalyst for future business and economic activity that could generate thousands of jobs across Pakistan.

According to a Dawn news report, SalamAir, which launched in January 2017 with the objective to bridge the demand gap for quality and affordable flights on short-haul routes to and from Oman currently flies daily from Muscat to Dubai and Jeddah and thrice a week to Karachi, Madina and Sialkot.

The report quoted Mohsin Al-Balushi, Commercial Director, SalamAir, as saying that this is a exciting time for aviation in Pakistan; especially to capitalize on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and attract new investment into the sector.”

Nawaz Sharif speaks at the inauguration of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar, Pakistan, on November 13, 2016. (Reuters)

Nawaz Sharif speaks at the inauguration of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor port in Gwadar, Pakistan, on November 13, 2016. (Reuters)

Air traffic growth

Based on current economic and demographic growth, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has projected that intra-Pakistan air traffic will grow at 9.9 percent over the next 20 years; more than twice the 4.1 percent projected annual world growth rate, said the report.

On aviation prospects in Pakistan, Al-Balushi quoted the World Bank’s forecast whereby Pakistan will experience a growth rate of 5.5 percent by 2018.

Also read: China, Pakistan experts discussing plans to set up nine special economic zones

Pakistan has also been classified as the world’s fifth fastest growing economy. Given these projections, Al-Balushi believes, more affordable airlines will be keen to follow SalamAir’s lead.

According to the report, the launch of SalamAir will enable Pakistan’s business community to capitalize on Oman’s regulatory framework and the many options its economy offers including tourism, manufacturing, fisheries, mining and logistics. Similarly, it will also open up travel for Omanis keen to explore the opportunities arising from CPEC projects.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 14:01 - GMT 11:01
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