Today (16 April), Luxembourg's flag carrier Cargolux and Oman Air have signed a joint venture agreement to mutually transport air freight on a risk sharing basis. Besides capturing
additional market shares their aim is to develop Muscat as a consolidation center and transit hub for shipments.
The pact was signed at a ceremony right after the arrival of Cargolux's first flight from Luxembourg to Muscat at the Omani Airport. Loaded on board the 747 freighter were 101 tons, of which 45
tons were unloaded at Muscat with 56 tons going on to Chennai in India. "On the way back our freighter will be fully loaded," enthused Sharon Vaz-Arab, Cargolux manager for Middle East and
At the beginning, one return flight per week on the route Luxembourg-Muscat-Chennai will be operated. "Mumbai will follow in about two months and Hyderabad is a third destination we intend to serve," announced Sharon.
"We want to develop our jv step by step," commented CEO Paul Gregorowitsch of Oman Air when being asked by CargoForwarder Global about the perspective of the partnership. "Our first step is sharing capacity to mutual benefit and adding additional destinations in India and Southeast Asia to our services. Next to come will be flights from China via Muscat to Africa," Paul announced. He went on to say that Oman Air will make use of Cargolux's trucking network in Europe in order to streamline the road feeder services.
Limited to standard freight
"Together we can develop a strong link across continents and tap into the potential of new cargo markets," statet CEO Dirk Reich of the Cargolux-Delegation during the signing ceremony. He added to this that at this stage of development the jv is limited to the carriage of general cargo.
Dirk predicted that the Muscat flights of his airline will increase continuously and be operated daily in about 1.5 years from now.
The pact is based on the lower deck capacity provided by Oman Air's fleet and the main deck capacity brought in by all-cargo carrier Cargolux. It will give Cargolux access to the Indian market and enable Oman Air to further expand its cargo ops and build on the range of air freight initiatives and innovations the airline has introduced over recent years.
Cargolux chairman Paul Heminger reminded that both carrier's biz is complementary and that Oman Air is geographically well located at the Arabian Peninsula, focusing on fast developing it's logistics sector. This offers the jv plenty of opportunities, he said.