July 20, 2017 / 10:59 AM / 2 years ago

Oman Air in talks with Airbus, Boeing to expand wide-body fleet to 25 jets

A logo of Airbus is pictured on their booth during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Oman’s national airline is in talks with planemakers Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) to expand its wide-body fleet to 25 jets and hopes to conclude the deal in the next two to three months, its chief executive said on Thursday.

Oman Air CEO Paul Gregorowitsch said the airline currently has 16 wide-body planes - six Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 10 Airbus A330 - but hope to increase that number to 25. This would involve replacement of some existing Airbus planes, and adding nine more new jets.

“We have negotiations currently with Airbus and Boeing. If (Boeing) has a good offer, we may take all, or we could have a mixture of Airbus A350 with the Boeing 787,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of a press event in Kuala Lumpur.

On the Gulf dispute restricting Qatar Airways, Gregorowitsch said the airline is “filling in the gaps where required” to fly stranded Muslim pilgrims to their home destinations.

The dispute led to flight slots for Qatar Airways at the Dubai Airport being taken away, which Oman Air had pitched for and obtained.

“We then have the opportunity to increase flights between Muscat and Dubai from 8 to 10 daily,” he said.

Reporting by Liz Lee; Editing by Sunil Nair

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