The Port of Salalah has signed an agreement with Oman Air Cargo that will strengthen links between the Sultanate's sea and air freight transport sectors, as well as increase opportunities to develop Oman's European freight transport market.
The agreement will see cargo arriving at the Port of Salalah from Asia being air freighted to the key European hubs of Frankfurt and Milan – two very important destinations on Oman Air's network.
Port of Salalah's Chief Executive Officer Peter Ford said:
"With increasing space limitations and continued rate increases on air freight from Asia we are providing a viable alternative to conventional airfreight with a new Sea-Air product which combines ocean-freight and air-freight services. The Port of Salalah offers transit times lower than any other port in the region and, together with Oman Air Cargo; we are able to provide a Sea-Air service that is an affordable solution for time-sensitive cargo. Currently the majority of the region's Sea-Air cargo is handled from well established UAE hubs, but Oman's location and growing transport infrastructure is making Sea-Air an attractive new business from Salalah."
Abdulrazaq Alraisi, Chief Commercial Officer at Oman Air, said:
"We are already seeing a great deal of interest in our sea-air cargo operations from Salalah. The Port of Salalah currently manages more than 36 weekly vessel connections to and from Europe and Asia and more than 45 weekly vessel connections to and from regional ports, as well as handling over 3.5 million containers each year. These figures are set to increase and Oman Air has been working with the Port of Salalah for some time to develop this new Sea-Air product.
Now that the product has taken off, we look forward to adding more points of origin and more destinations to complement our existing network and the services we already provide at the Port of Salalah and at Salalah Airport."
Oman Air Cargo is a division of Oman Air, and its recent rapid growth has mirrored that of the airline as a whole. In 2010, Oman Air carried 26,800 tons and bucked international trends, increasing its cargo revenues by 238%.