MDLR Airlines set to launch freighter services

New Delhi: Private carrier, MDLR Airlines, announced ambitious plans on Wednesday to foray into air cargo business, starting with one wide-body aircraft by the end of the year. The company has just completed six months of operations.

"We are carrying out test marketing for our cargo business and will start out operations with one aircraft by mid-December. These operations would be from Southeast Asian destinations to India. We plan to start with four flights a week," MDLR vice-president (cargo), Rajendra Dubey, informed media persons here.

Once launched, MDLR would become the first private carrier to launch freighter services in India. According to Dubey, the cargo division would be set up as a separate company with an initial equity capital of Rupees one crore. He also said that the Group has total investment plans of Rs25 crore, spread over the next several years.

"We are looking at a (cargo) fleet of 10-15 aircraft in the next few years. Our plans are ultimately to launch cargo flights to the US and Europe," he said. He also indicated that talks with aircraft manufacturers were in the final stages for the purchase of the company's first freighter, and that a decision in this regard was expected by next week.

The airline, which started operations in April this year, now connects Delhi, Ranchi, Kolkata, Jodhpur and Chandigarh and is set to launch its Jaipur service from October 22.