The carrier wants to develop Guwahati as cargo hub of the Northeast region
In what could be said as a boost to the air cargo sector the SpiceXpress, Spicejet’s air cargo arm has announced plans to grow its fleet by as many as three times by the end of the current financial year.
Recently, Spicejet became the 4th airline in India to add 100th aircraft in its fleet. Announced in 2018, the SpiceXpress fleet comprises of two Boeing 737NG freighters and four more are expected to be added by March 2021, the company said in its latest financial results statement.
Past attempts to operate domestic freighter operations in India have proved difficult to sustain, with only Deutsche Post DHL’s JV Blue Dart, which has a fleet of six B757Fs, remaining in addition to SpiceXpress.
SpiceXpress recently launched a dedicated freighter service on the Guwahati – Hong Kong route and became the maiden airline to connect Northeast India and Southeast Asia. The carrier envisions huge potential in the Northeast, especially in the fruit and vegetable market, and plans to connect all the seven north-eastern states with Guwahati, creating a cargo hub for the entire region.
Passenger carrier Spicejet made an overall loss in the 2018-19 financial year, claimed to be caused by rising fuel costs, the devaluation of the rupee and the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max fleet. However, it says it has an “aggressive expansion plan across both its domestic and international network” and it has signed an MoU for code-sharing with Emirates passenger service.
Analysts believe the collapse of Jet Airways is likely to help Spicejet as it has already become the second largest airline in the country by the number of domestic passengers carried.