Oman Air in New Ground Handling Venture and Possible Joint Ventures

The Muscat-based Omani national carrier, Oman Air continues down the road to expansion. They are now planning what they term as a new ground handling partnership with an international company. The carrier is according to its CEO, Paul Gregorowitsch also looking at new joint ventures.

Oman Air’s Chief Officer Service Delivery Andrew Walsh
Oman Air’s Chief Officer Service Delivery Andrew Walsh

Ground Handling to play a more dominant role
In an interview with the Times of Oman newspaper the carrier’s VP for Ground Handling & Cargo, Andrew Walsh, announced that Oman Air plans to partner with a yet unnamed international company in order to create a new ground handling entity based in Muscat.
Mr Walsh is quoted as saying that his company had originally had five potential candidates and that now they are shortlisted to two.
A decision on which of these two will get the deal is expected shortly.
The winner is expected to be the one which is willing to invest the most equity into the new venture.
Omani law allows foreign companies a maximum 49 percent holding in any Oman national entity.

The reason for this move seems quite simple seeing that Oman Air wishes to focus as an airline on their core business.
So, this will necessitate that some departments such as ground handling will operate independently in the future.
This, according to the manager, will improve overall efficiency.

Oman Air’s cargo department recently entered into a joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) and created a new company dedicated to cargo handling.

New J/V’s with other carriers are planned
Two airlines from Europe and one from Asia are apparently in discussion with Oman Air to establish a new carrier joint-venture.
Oman Air’s CEO, Paul Gregorowitsch, recently confirmed this in London at the inauguration of the airline’s second daily service from Muscat to London-Heathrow.
He did not elaborate on who these three partners may be. His strategy is to allow the carrier to expand their international connections without having to join any form of global airline alliance.

It is reported that Oman Air is looking also at codeshare agreements with carriers such as Lufthansa, Emirates, Garuda, Malaysian, KLM, Turkish Airlines and others.
Oman Air continues their steady growth and now serve fifty destinations in twenty-seven countries.
In air freight they already collaborate closely with Cargolux.

John Mc Donagh

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