Sunday, October 18, 2020

IndiGo mulls dedicated freighter services amid expected surge in cargo transportation

Mumbai: The country's largest carrier by domestic market share IndiGo NSE 2.76 % is mulling launching dedicated freighter services amid an expected surge in cargo transportation, particularly to transport COVID-19 vaccine once it is available.

The airline has already held preliminary-level discussions with European aviation major Airbus on the type of freighters that could be possibly put into service for dedicated freighter flights, according to an industry source.

IndiGo, which has more than 250 planes in its fleet, is one of the largest customers of Airbus, especially A320 neo aircraft.

To a query on whether the carrier is planning to launch dedicated freighter services, IndiGo Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said it was being studied as a proposal.

"(This is) being studied as a proposal. (But) No final decision yet," he told .

The source said that IndiGo is looking to launch dedicated freighter services as it sees good demand for air cargo.

A mid-level IndiGo executive, who is into handling the airline's partnerships and aeropolitical affairs, recently held initial level discussions with Airbus executives on the type of air freighter that could be used for such operations, the source added.

"The dedicated air freighter service, however, is expected to be a division within the airline," the source said.

Cargo transportation raked in revenues for airlines when commercial air passenger services were suspended for a long period during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

IndiGo clocked higher revenue by operating around 1,700 cargo flights between April 18 and September 7 as compared to the earnings over the last financial year. Specific figures were not immediately available.

18/10/20 PTI/Economic Times

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