Where does OAMC fit in the Sultanate's strategy to diversify the economy?
Based on our purpose of growing gateways to beauty and opportunity, OAMC's main focus is connecting every civilian airport, creating job opportunities with social and economic value, and adding significant value to the aviation sector by excellently managing and further developing our airport infrastructure. The aviation sector should be driving the overall diversification of the Omani economy. We already have 93% young and highly skilled Omanis working for OAMC, and we are proud we were able to double our net profit in 2017. This has been possible by building strong relationships with our strategic partners such as Omanair, the Royal Oman Police, the Public Authority of Civil Aviation, and our excellent service providers. Together with our partners we are constantly working on offering our customers a world-class experience by living the values of Omani hospitality in everything we do.
What impact will the new Muscat Airport terminal, among others, have on passenger travel?
We are located in a competitive region with massive airport development projects coming up to push global aviation growth. Therefore, the new Muscat Airport plays an important role in our business strategy. By nature, Oman and neighboring countries are not large markets. However, Muscat Airport has been able to more than double its passenger numbers within seven short years, from around 6 million passengers in 2010 to 14 million passengers in 2017. The growth proves that we are on the right track and that Muscat Airport is becoming an economic engine that can support the logistics and tourism sector by facilitating the flow of goods and passengers. We will continue fostering Muscat Airport to be an airport hub with seamless processes and a pleasant, unforgettable experience.
Asyad's current strategy plans on incorporating air cargo into the logistics chain. What role will OAMC play in this, and what impact will it have on the economy?
One of our key objectives is to provide seamless supply chain services through all the stakeholders involved to improve the end-to-end logistics. OAMC's role is important when incorporating air cargo into the logistics chain in terms of providing a functioning operational platform for export and import cargo. Second, in partnership with national carrier Oman Air and other carriers, the objective is to improve connectivity. A seamless supply chain with optimized transportation and handling lead times improves the competitiveness of the country in terms of exports, imports, and transshipments. Faster lead and handling times through the logistics chain will also create competitive advantages for Omani shippers.
What new projects does OAMC have for 2018?
The main project will be ensuring smooth operations at the new Muscat Airport. Opening such a huge terminal of 365,000sqm is no walk in the park, which is why we have to be focused and carefully monitor our operations.
What are OAMC's main objectives for the next year?
Our Strategy2020 is embodied in six strategic focus areas and aimed at developing our airports into places to have a great customer experience. As a responsible airport operator we will continue focusing on health, security, and the environment, not to mention carry on building and maintaining great relationships with our strategic partners, the Oman government authorities and the wider local communities our airports serve. Operational excellence is another key driver of our long-term success. All our operational processes have to be consistently efficient and effective at the same time. Last but not least, we have to improve our profitability to be able to fund our future ourselves.