Sunday, July 05, 2020

SpiceJet to expand cargo operations

Hyderabad: Covid-19 pandemic has given rise to the need for transporting essential commodities not only within India but across the world. With the increasing need for cargo handling infrastructure and cargo delivery, SpiceJet created warehouses and deployed several aircraft. The company is now evaluating converting more passenger planes into freighters. It is also adding new international destinations and rapidly expanding its network in Africa and CIS countries.

SpiceJet chairman and managing director Ajay Singh told Telangana Today, “We have a dedicated fleet of eight freighter aircraft, which include five Boeing 737s and three Q400s. Besides our dedicated fleet of cargo jets, we have been actively using our passenger aircraft for cargo-on-seat operations. In fact, SpiceJet is India’s first airline to operate a cargo-on-seat flight, carrying cargo in both passenger cabin and belly space on April 7. Since then, we have been regularly deploying both our B737 and Q400 passenger aircraft to carry cargo in the passenger cabin.”

The cargo operations are spread across India connecting both big and small airports. The company has been transporting a wide-range of cargo, which includes medical & surgical supplies, sanitisers, face masks, coronavirus rapid test kits, infrared (IR) thermometers, blood samples, ventilators, medical equipment, cold chain medical supplies, farm produce, fresh fruits and vegetables, automobile parts, mail, electronics, mobile phones, fish seeds, shrimps, diamonds, livestock etc. The average load carrying capacity of its aircraft ranges from eight to 22 tons.

The company’s international cargo network spans across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. The company is operating regular cargo flights to farer destinations in African & CIS countries and Russia. Top three destinations are China, UAE and Bahrain where medicines, perishables (including fruits, vegetables and shrimps) and livestock are supplied.

SpiceJet has operated close to 3,400 cargo flights since the lockdown began and carried over 20,000 tons of cargo, which the company says is more than double that of all domestic airlines combined together. About 55 per cent of the cargo moved by the company is domestic, he informed.
05/07/20 Y V Phani Raj/Telangana Today
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