Route Analysis: Sohar-Shiraz

SalamAir is increasing connectivity between Oman and Iran.

Credit: Rob Finlayson

LCC SalamAir has become the first operator to provide nonstop service between the coastal city of Suhar (OHS) on the Gulf of Oman with Shiraz (SYZ), located in the southern region of Iran.

The route, which will be served once a week on Mondays, becomes the Omani airline’s second service to Iran alongside its existing flights between Muscat (MCT) and Shiraz.

The launch means the carrier will now offer four round trips between Oman and Iran each week, providing about 1,400 two-way weekly seats between the countries.

Taban Air is currently the only other operator of scheduled service between the nations, OAG Schedules Analyser data shows, flying to Muscat from Shiraz and Tehran (IKA). Each of the Taban Air routes is offered 4X-weekly.

However, SalamAir CEO Mohamed Ahmed said there is “tremendous demand” for travel between Oman and Iran, thanks to the social, cultural and business ties. Oman and Iran have good diplomatic relations and in recent years the two have been seeking to increase non-oil exports.

Shiraz is the capital city of Fars province and the sixth-largest city in Iran after Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, Tabriz, and Karaj. It is the economic center of southern Iran, dependent on local products including grapes, wood, cotton and rice.

Although figures provided by Sabre Market Intelligence show O&D traffic between Suhar and Shiraz was negligible in 2019 due to the absence of nonstop flights, SalamAir can expect its low fares and direct service to stimulate demand.

As well as targeting business and leisure traffic, the carrier will hope to attract significant VFR flows. Oman is home to about 5 million citizens, of which around 25% are Baloch people of Iranian descent.

Wider O&D demand between Oman and Shiraz totaled 94,400 two-way passengers in 2019—up by more than 63,000 on the previous 12 months.

OHS-SYZ 

Carrier:

SalamAir

Aircraft:

Airbus A320neo

Frequency:

1X-weekly

Start date:

Feb. 7, 2022

Distance:

697 km (433 mi.)

O&D traffic demand (2019):

94,400 (Oman-Shiraz)

Annual growth (2019 vs 2018):

208%

Average base fare (2019):

$236.65