Oman Air on Monday ordered two airplanes from US giant Boeing and rented three others in deals worth a total of $105 million, Oman's official ONA news agency said.
The new planes are all Boeing 737s, with the three rented ones being contracted from the US firm International Lease Finance Corporation.
The planes "will allow a reduction of up to 50 percent in the consumption of kerosene compared with the Airbus A310s currently in service, along with a notable reduction in maintenance costs," said Oman Air director Abdelrahman al-Busaidi, cited by ONA.
Two of the new planes will enter the fleet in December, two the following May, and the fifth one in May 2004, he said.
The deals will let Oman Air replace two of its planes, an Airbus A310 and a Boeing 737, which will be returned to a leasing company.
Busaidi said the company has also taken an option on two other Boeings, which would be delivered in 2006 and 2008.
"The contracts signed (Monday) will permit Oman Air to increase the number of its flights and improve the service on its planes," the director said, adding that the company hoped over the next five years to fly to more destinations, including beginning service to east Africa.
Founded in 1993, Oman Air is 35 percent state-owned, with the remainder held by the Omani private sector. The airline flies to 14 destinations, all in the Gulf or Indian subcontinent.
Its current fleet includes two Airbus A320s, one Boeing 737, three Fokkers, two ATR 42s and a Twin Otter for domestic flights. — (AFP, Muscat)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )