IndiGo is planning to launch dedicated freighter services amid an expected uptick in cargo transportation, especially to transport the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine once it is out.
According to an industry source, the airline has already conducted preliminary-level discussions with European aviation major Airbus with respect to the type of freighters that can be used for the dedicated freighter flights.
The country’s largest carrier by domestic market share, IndiGo , which has more than 250 planes in its fleet, is one of the largest customers of Airbus, especially A320 neo aircraft.
The plans are still under discussion and nothing concrete has been decided yet, as IndiGo Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said that it was being “studied as a proposal (but) no final decision yet”.
An industry source further shared that IndiGo is mulling over the launch of the dedicated freighter services since it expects good demand for air cargo.
However, the dedicated air freighter service is expected to be a division within the airline.
Amidst the coronavirus crisis and the subsequent lockdowns, it was Cargo transportation alone that was responsible for clocking in revenues for the airlines when commercial air passenger services lay suspended for a considerable period of time. Domestic air passenger services recommenced May 25.
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.
While scheduled international passenger flights lie suspended from March 23, overseas flights have been permitted under various air bubble pacts.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had recently predicted that cargo revenue worldwide may reach a near-record and more than double to 26 percent of the industry’s total revenue this year.