Pluto Airlines LLC
Sharjah United Arab Emirates
Tel: +971 6-5623666
Fax : + 971 6 5624333
Owenership: limited liability company majority owned by Al Fahem Group
The airline was established in February 2002 and is based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. It plans to operate the Sharjah to Muscat route which will subsequently include Dakar. Its destinations also include Senegal, as well as Iran, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. Pluto Airlines is the first private airline in Sharjah.
Pluto Airlines, the private carrier set up earlier this year in Sharjah, one of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will launch scheduled charter flights on 15 July.
Operating three wet-leased aircraft - an Airbus A310-300, an A320 and a Tupolev Tu-154 - Pluto will link Sharjah with Bahrain three times a week, and Doha with Beirut twice weekly. It will also fly to and from Muscat. Expanded fully scheduled services will start once a trade licence has been received.
Pluto says it is confident there is "high potential of passenger traffic - although there is a lot of competition". Emirates, Gulf Air and Qatar Airways offer frequent services on these routes, while Sharjah is only a short drive from Dubai.
In the long term, Pluto is negotiating with a Pakistani airline to start a service in August from Islamabad via Sharjah to Manchester. Within six months, Pluto is planning to acquire a second-hand Boeing 767-300 from the manufacturer.
Pluto Airlines launched
"The airline launched by Al Fahem Group will commence operations in the first week of March on the Sharjah-Muscat-Sharjah sector," Sheikha Sayad Al Qasimi, the airlines' chairperson and managing director, stated yesterday.
The main objective, she explained, of starting the airline was to provide convenient travel facilities to residents here and to promote the emirate as a tourist destination.
A plan to introduce Sharjah's national carrier is also underway but has been delayed.
"We named our company Pluto Airlines because the name 'Sharjah' is reserved for the national carrier, currently under study," she said.
"The airline will initially commence visa change flights with a frequency of one a day. Very soon, we will start our major operation on the Sharjah-Senegal-Sharjah route. Ours will be the first airline in the world which will operate direct flights on this sector."
Sheikh Fahem bin Mohammed Khalid Al Qasimi, chairman of the airline, said the decision to operate to Senegal was decided after a comprehensive study, which showed good passenger and cargo demand on this sector.
He said the next target would be flights from Sharjah to Iran, and thereafter to Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. "We will start flights from Sharjah to Pakistan before going to India and other countries in the region."
Pluto will initially commence operation with one Boeing 737 aircraft, gradually increasing its fleet with the introduction of new routes, subject to market demand.
While the airline's launch was delayed due to September 11, "We didn't see any reason to further shelve our plans despite the current crisis in the airline industry. We are a small airline and will cater to a particular segment of society with a well studied plan, curtailing expenditure while providing quality services".
Saleem Kashmiri, general manager, said the introductory return fare for the Sharjah-Muscat-Sharjah route would be only Dh290 for visa change passengers.
"We are leaving for Senegal to hold negotiations with the authorities concerned, to finalise arrangements there."
He noted there is also demand for Sharjah flights to some destinations in Pakistan and India. "We will cooperate with other airlines operating to these countries to expand our operation to the maximum number of destinations."
He added that cargo operation would commence in the second phase.
Pluto Airlines is an airline based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. It is a start-up airline planning to operate the Sharjah to Muscat route and later extend its network to Dakar.
■IATA Code: 8D■ICAO Code: PPL (not current)■Callsign: PLUTO AIR (not current)
The airline was established in February 2002. It was the Emirates' first private carrier, established by Sheikh Fahem Al Qassimi, a member of the royal family.
Regional General Manager :30444
:Sheikha Sayad Saqer Sultan Al Qassimi
:Sheikha Sayad Saqer Sultan Al Qassimi
Services: airlines (passengers & cargo)
Pluto Airlines is a defunct operation in the UAE
IATA Code: 8D
ICAO Code: PPL
Callsign: PLUTO AIR