SATS Ltd., Asia’s leading provider of gateway services and food solutions, recently signed an agreement with Oman Air to handle cargo at Muscat International Airport.
The joint venture agreement, signed through SATS’ wholly-owned subsidiary SATS Investments, details that Oman Air will hand over its cargo handling business and any associated assets to Oman Air Cargo, the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary. SATS will then obtain 165,000 shares from Oman Air, representing one-third of its share capital, for approximately $16.5 million.
“The joint venture with SATS is one of our initiatives intended to prepare for the growth in airline operations in the coming years as well as secure a quality improvement in the services provided to our cargo customers,” Oman Air CEO Paul Gregorowitsch said. “With SATS as our partner, we also believe that the subsequent growth of the new company will result in increased employment and career development opportunities for Omani citizens.”
The newly formed business will be branded Oman SATS Cargo LLC and will begin operations within the second quarter of 2016. Oman SATS Cargo will be the sole cargo handling services provider at the Muscat International Airport’s current cargo facility and then at the newly built innovative cargo terminal when it opens at the airport.
“This strategic partnership with Oman Air will enhance connectivity for our cargo customers across Asia and strengthen Oman’s position as a transit hub,” SATS’ President and CEO Alex Hungate said. “We also see opportunities to develop cold-chain handling capabilities and promote carriage of premium and temperature-controlled airfreight for Oman Air and other airlines.”
Staff training, required managerial staff and understanding of the technical aspects of the joint venture will be handled by SATS. The company will also review current work flow of the cargo facility and make changes as needed to ensure efficient and effective cargo processes when the new terminal opens in Muscat.