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MUSCAT: Oman Air and Cargolux have signed a joint venture to coincide with the arrival of their first 747s freighter service linking Europe, Oman and India.

The deal also coincides with Oman's hosting of the latest Gulf Cooperation Council supply chain & logistics conference designed to promote the country's growing importance as a multimodal hub.

According to a joint statement, the new airline agreement enables Oman Air to further expand its cargo business while providing Cargolux with access to the belly capacity of Oman Air's fleet and create new sea-air traffic via the ports of Sohar and Salalah.

Oman Air 747-8Oman Air's CEO Paul Gregorowitsch observed: "This will be the first full freighter service to have been launched from Oman and it will enable us to jointly deploy significant and commercially attractive freighter capacity throughout Oman Air's network. In doing so, it will provide significant support for the expansion and development of Oman Air's cargo operation. It will also enable Cargolux to make use of Oman Air's rapidly expanding freight capacity, as well as the outstanding cargo facilities at Oman's airports.

"And, vitally, [it] will bring significant economic benefits for the Sultanate of Oman, building on Oman Air's already considerable social and financial contribution to the nation," he added.

Dirk Reich, Cargolux CEO said he thought the deal with Oman Air would help the airline with its plans to expand services from Oman to China, Europe, Africa and the United States. "Furthermore, the joint venture will give Cargolux the opportunity to utilize Oman Air's experience of flying to 11 destinations in India, as well as to East Africa," he added.

Oman Air's 11 destinations in India include Goa, Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Delhi, Lucknow, Bangalore, Kozhikode and Jaipur.

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