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Oman’s air cargo sector well-positioned for growth



National carrier Oman Air has posted a 66 per cent increase in its cargo business during the Jan – Oct period of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021.

As many as 1,038 cargo charter and cargo-in-cabin (CIC) flights were operated during 2021/2022, officials disclosed at a workshop held at the Hormuz Grand Hotel on Tuesday, November 29, 2022. The workshop was organised by Oman SATS, the cargo terminal operator at Muscat International Airport. It was attended by representatives of a number of shipping companies and clearing agencies, as well as officials of the Royal Oman Police and Oman Airports.

Significantly, 44 per cent of revenues from Oman Air’s cargo business came from the Far East sector (point of origin), followed by Europe (30 per cent), ISC (16 per cent), MEA (4 per cent), GCC (3 per cent) and domestic market (3 per cent).

According to a presentation by Oman Airports, Oman Air has restored 65 per cent of its pre-pandemic network. Budget carrier Salam Air has already deployed one freighter in Oman, with a further aircraft expected next year. Leading global logistics operator DHL is establishing a hub in Muscat. Additionally, a feasibility study for establishing a perishables centre is in progress.

Furthermore, plans for an Airport Freezone at Muscat International Airport seek to enable, among other things, the globalisation of national industries, while also attracting foreign investments.

Presentations during the workshop shed light on the importance of strengthening cooperation between the competent authorities in the field of air freight and resolving any obstacles to achieving the growth of this sector. Various speakers underlined the importance of this sector to supporting the process of growth and economic development in the country.

A presentation by ROP Customs emphasised its complete readiness to support the sector’s growth objectives. The official called on all stakeholders and partners to register for electronic services to facilitate and speed up procedures for completing transactions. In this regard, a new app is due to be launched early next year, which will facilitate e-commerce as well as deliver superior superiors.

Oman Vision 2040 seeks to create an empowered private sector that leads a competitive economy and integrated with the global economy. The goal is to provide an attractive business environment for investment in which the government exercises the regulatory role, underpinned by administrative efficiency and seamless services, the official stressed.

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