Thursday, May 07, 2020

Airlines may find respite in cargo operations during lockdown

New Delhi: As uncertainty and pessimism remains over resumption of passenger flight services amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, home-grown airlines are ramping up freight services. According to an industry executive, cargo operations have become the only source of revenue (barring the controversial advance booking) for airlines as demand for essentials such as medical gear and consumables in India and outside remains high at the moment.

If the government allows private airlines to participate in the world’s largest evacuation plan — bringing home over 2.50 lakh Indians stuck abroad in phases — it will help them improve financials. As of now, only Air India has been asked to fetch the passengers on payment basis. Those taking the special flights will be charged between Rs 12,000 and Rs 1,00,000.

On the rise of cargo operations, Urvisha H Jagasheth, research analyst at Care Ratings, said it is quite likely that airlines would increase their cargo operations in the near future, as that is the quickest form of freight transportation and pilots are readily available.

“The pandemic has augmented reverse migration of workers, which has led to a shortage of truck drivers, thus interrupting the whole logistical supply chain in terms of road transportation. This could encourage the Centre to shift a part of its reliance on freight transport to the aviation sector and ensure quick delivery,” he said.
07/05/20 New Indian Express
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