Following up on its announcement of leasing four A321ceo freighter aircraft with a capacity to handle 27 tonnes of cargo, Indigo’s Chief Commercial Officer (CCO)William Boulter assures the arrival of A321ceo freighter plane during the first half of 2022, showing the airline’s seriousness about growing its cargo business.
Speaking in an interview with PTI, the CCO said, “Our cargo business has been one of the successes during the pandemic. We have operated close to 8,000 cargo-in-cabin charter flights.”
Currently operating in 71 domestic cities, the carrier has the capability of Cargo operations in each of those points, he noted.
On the topic of the aforementioned four cargo aircraft, he said, “The first aircraft has just gone to Singapore Technologies Engineering Limited as it’s being converted (from passenger aircraft to freighter aircraft) as we speak. It will be out sometime in the first half of next year.”
Further, he added, “This will be a statement to everybody that IndiGo is very serious about cargo and that cargo is going to become a significant part of our business,”
On the expansion of the cargo fleet, Boulter said that any further decision will be made after looking at the business developments.
He said that there is a huge potential for cargo flights operating between India and China.
“We opened services to China before the pandemic — to Chengdu and Guangzhou. They were very successful in a very short time,” he said adding that the borders (with China) after the pandemic are closed for the passenger traffic but the freight market is very buoyant.
Several items that were required to fight the pandemic worldwide such as PPE and testing kits were produced in China in large quantities, he mentioned.
“We see a high demand of cargo out of China. We have operated a lot of charters over the last year, into Guangzhou in particular. During the second wave of the pandemic in India, we operated over 70 charter flights between Kolkata and Guangzhou to bring in oxygen concentrators,” he said.
“So, China will remain a significant manufacturing base. That will generate a lot of cargo demand. As IndiGo, we are happy to serve that demand as far as we can,” he stated.
Further, he noted that the airline is currently not operating cargo charter flights to China but it was always in touch with the agents in that market and we can expect charter services in the future.