In terms of domestic market share, India’s largest airline IndiGo is considering launching a dedicated freighter service, as the volume of freight is expected to surge, especially once the Covid-19 vaccine is available. An industry source said that the airline has had preliminary discussions with Airbus, a major European airline, on the types of freighters that may be put into service for dedicated freighter flights. IndiGo has more than 250 aircraft in its fleet and is one of Airbus’s largest customers, especially the A320 neo aircraft.When asked whether the carrier plans to launch a dedicated freight service, IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said it is studying it.”This is being studied as a proposal. There is no final decision yet,” he told PTI.
According to sources, IndiGo hopes to see strong demand for air cargo and is therefore seeking to launch specialized cargo services. The source added that IndiGo executives, who handle airline partnerships and aviation political affairs, recently had preliminary discussions with Airbus executives about the types of air cargo aircraft that can be used for such operations.
The source said: “However, dedicated air cargo services are expected to become a division of airlines.” During the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, when commercial air passenger services were suspended for a long time, the cargo business increased revenue for airlines. Compared with the revenue of the previous fiscal year, IndiGo operated 1,700 cargo flights between April 18 and September 7, thereby achieving higher revenue. The specific figures are not immediately available.
In order to curb the spread of coronavirus infection, scheduled domestic air passenger services have been suspended for two months starting from March 25. The service restarted on May 25. Since March 23, the originally scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended, but according to various bubble agreements, overseas flights are allowed.
According to estimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global cargo revenue is expected to reach a record level and this year will account for more than twice the industry’s total revenue, reaching 26%. “The potential scale of delivery is huge. Only a single dose to 7.8 billion people can fill an 8,000(B)747 freighter. Land transportation will help, especially in advanced economies with local manufacturing capabilities. But if Without heavy use of air cargo, vaccines cannot be provided globally.”