Oman Air SATS Cargo LLC, a joint venture between national carrier Oman Air and Singapore-based ground-handling and catering services provider SATS Ltd, wants to increase its cargo footprint in the region by capitalising on the establishment of a modern cargo terminal at the new Muscat International Airport.
The new cargo operations handler, which was incorporated last November, aims to further strengthen Oman’s position as a transit hub, promoting Muscat as the cargo gateway to the Middle East. The new company provides handling services to and from Muscat for a wide range of cargo, including pharmaceutical products, perishables, live animals and valuable items.
“The new cargo terminal entails bigger handling capacity and improved infrastructure,” said Oman Air SATS CEO Tan Siang Tang (pictured). This would contribute to more efficient operations and a streamlined cargo delivery process, thereby creating a safer operational environment for both staff and customers, he added in remarks at the Oman-Singapore forum hosted by Omani Economic Association held recently.
Oman Air SATS, said Tan, is working closely with industry stakeholders, including airlines, Oman Airports Management Company (OAMC), Royal Oman Police Customs, and other government agencies, to attract more cargoes passing through Muscat.
“Feedbacks and concerns were already gathered and the respective improvement plans implemented to address the issues on hand,” the CEO said. The company received excellent remarks from a recent customer’s survey, while a ‘Wow! Service’ campaign launched by the JV emphasises on customer experience and the provision of customer service trainings of staff so as to better serve the industry, he noted.
Additionally, Oman Air SATS has made an investment towards the improvement of the company’s air cargo ground handling system. It automates and simplifies cargo handling, cargo tracking and tracing. It will also connect Oman Air SATS with other airports in the region, especially where SATS has an office. SATS is present at 48 airports and in 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East.
Commenting on other key improvements in its service delivery, Tan stated, “Earlier, we used cash for payment, but now we accept credit card and are moving towards cashless payment. This provides alternative payment options for customers. To improve our service, we have to benchmark to see where we are and we use the best in the world. Our operations are endorsed and certified by international standard-setting bodies like IATA and TAPA (which is another industry quality indicator). All of these initiatives are for better customer experience.”
Since Oman’s weather presents temperature challenges, the company is adding 200 square metres of coldroom storage to cater to the increasing volumes of perishables and pharmaceutical products being handled at the airport.
Significantly, since many cargoes are now passing through Muscat, Oman Air SATS will soon operate 24/7 to facilitate clearance of time-critical cargo.
“Also, many people prefer to come at night when the weather is cooler, and with the new terminal coming soon, it will be a fully air-conditioned cargo site,” Tan noted.
“We always review our procedures and make sure that we boost our efficiency. We have a regular dialogue with our stakeholders to upgrade and improve our services to the industry. With the new airport and new cargo facility, and with new developments in the aviation industry, we want to see Muscat grow as a cargo hub in the region,” Tan added in conclusion.