Oman Air Cargo eyes increased frequencies to high yield/demand destinations in 2017

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Oman Air Cargo is in the process of launching a number of specialised products for high yield sectors and is increasing scheduled frequencies to and from high load stations as a hedge against the current market scenario. Mohammed Al Musafir, SVP-Commercial Cargo, Oman Air Cargo speaks to The STAT Trade Times about his assessment of the Middle Eastern market, its expansion plans and more…

What is your assessment of the air cargo industry in the Middle East?

The Middle East Cargo industry was adversely disturbed last year from an increased airline capacity that had surpassed demand during the current economic downturn. Due to a surplus of global air freight capacity along with slower global trade, Middle East Cargo volume growth last year slowed down in comparison with the performances seen in earlier years. However, over the first quarter of 2017, the market has begun to stabilise, and the strategies our team have put in place have enabled us to perform at a positive level. We continue to work towards the targets we have set for the 2017 fiscal year, and our long term strategic goals. 

How concerned are you about declining yield in the air cargo industry? What is Oman Air Cargo doing to address this challenge?

The declining yield is an issue facing the whole air cargo industry. And as with any business, there are always external factors that must be taken into consideration. We constantly analyse global market trends, and adjust our strategies accordingly.

We are also in the process of launching a number of special products that can differentiate us in the market, and allow us to offer our clients a more tailored solution to their specific requirements.

What has been Oman Air Cargo’s approach to product innovations to attract high yield cargo sectors?

Our business is an international one. Therefore, we compete on a global level. Oman Air has taken off on an ambitious growth strategy in our endeavor ‘To Become The Best’. It will see us expand our existing international network even further, increase the strength of our fleet, delivering even more consignments to more destinations than ever before.

With our recently added destinations of Mashhad, Najaf, and our first China operation to Guangzhou, along with upcoming scheduled routes to more African destinations, our focus for 2017 will be on increased frequencies to high yield/demand destinations, as well as expanding our partnership service agreements as we strategically expand our network to better serve our clients.

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What is your assessment of the current performance of Oman Air Cargo?

Oman Air Cargo as a brand and operation is still at its relative infancy. This gives us a great advantage to analyze the market and position ourselves at the forefront of the industry’s requirements. As a brand, Oman Air Cargo is a division of Oman Air, and we firmly believe in our overall brand’s strategy to “become the best”. We strive to offer our clients a premium service that is swift, efficient, secure, economical, and global in reach. Our operations are in line with our growth strategy, and with our new 100 per cent cloud-based cargo management system, and a new state-of- the-art cargo handling facility at our Muscat hub, Oman Air Cargo is in a prime position for the imminent future.

Propelled by the Sultanate of Oman’s national carrier, Oman Air, The Cargo division is a key contributor to the overall operations of Oman Air. With a belly-hold capacity of over 80 flights daily, and a vast network of scheduled services to Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Indian Subcontinent, and the Far East. Collectively with our partners, we offer our clients access to over 150 online and offline destinations.

What are some of the strategies that you have put in place to stay competitive given the current dip in global business confidence?

Oman Air cargo does not, of course, operate in isolation and global economic changes can have a significant impact on our work. Yet we continue to endeavour on our growth plans, taking into account these global economic changes and continuously adapting our strategies to keep these influences to a minimum. In terms of some of our strategies to hedge these market factors, we look at focusing on high yield products and increasing schedule frequencies to and from high load stations.

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