When Air India placed the largest order of 470 airplanes with Boeing and Airbus, which was later surpassed by Indigo’s 500, there was some speculation about its plans for air cargo since the order didn’t include any freighters. However, Air India has maintained its stand on having big plans to bolster its presence in the air cargo segment.
With the new wide-body planes to be added to its fleet, the Maharaja is moving with a target of securing a 20% market share over the next 2-3 years and nearly double its capacity in the near-to-medium term. As part of its strategy, the airline plans to engage with air cargo users in the telecom, electronics, and pharmaceutical industries. There is also news about Air India negotiating with big exporters, especially in electronics, with sector-specific packages.
Reports also suggest that Air India is making changes to its cargo handling processes and infrastructure in order to cater to the anticipated sector-specific demand. For instance, there is some equipment being brought to efficiently handle the pharmaceutical cargo as the industry may be a significant contributor to the airline’s revenues.
Air India is all set to welcome the brand new wide-body Airbus A350 aircraft to its existing 124 aircraft fleet by the end of the year. It will shortly start preparing to induct 5 of its Rolls Royce-powered A350s,
5 leased Boeing B777-LR, and 9 other Boeing B777-ER by the end of the current fiscal year, increasing its wide-body fleet by 30%.