SpiceJet to launch dedicated air cargo service on 18 Sept
10 September 2018
Private airline SpiceJet today inaugurated its first cargo aircraft, making the passenger carrier the first to branch out to freighters. Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha inaugurated the SpiceXpress today.
SpiceJet has inducted a Boeing 737-700 plane as its first freighter aircraft.
With four cargo aircraft joining the fleet, offering 27,000 tonnes per month of cargo capacity, SpiceJet will launch a dedicated air cargo service on 18 September.
Spicejet promoter Ajay Singh said there is great demand for freight services in the country.
“SpiceJet is the first scheduled airline to branch out into freighters. This is the first of four cargo aircraft that will join our fleet this year,” Singh said, adding, that the induction of four aircraft will see SpiceJet offering 27,000 tonnes per month from current 15,000 tonnes a month.
The airline is planning to launch its dedicated freighter services between Delhi and Bengaluru apart from connecting Amritsar, Kabul and Hong Kong.
"The new venture will be a division of Spicejet. Initially, we will operate two Boeing 737 700 and two Boeing 737 800," Singh said.
At a tim3e when passenger revenues are falling, the airline hoes the air cargo services would boost its ancillary business growth. The fleet of freighters would consist of Boeing 737 planes and would be “operated on an incremental direct operating cost model“.
SpiceJet would utilise common pool of resources like pilots, engineers, ground staff and airport infrastructure for the cargo services. Among other items, the airline said it would ship perishables like farm fresh fruits and vegetables to the Middle East.
The air cargo traffic in the country is expected to grow by 60 per cent in the next five years, as per estimates.
At present, SpiceJet’s existing fleet has a cargo capacity of about 500 tonnes per day. “With the launch of the dedicated freighter service this capacity would go up to 900 tonnes a day in a phased manner with the addition of four freighters by March 2019,” the airline said.