Spicejet has earned the title of being the first Indian airline to operate long-haul, non-stop cargo flight between Europe and India with the commencement of its first flight from Amsterdam to Mumbai using its wide-body aircraft – Airbus A340 on Saturday.
The airline has recently inducted the Airbus A340 cargo aircraft to its fleet of dedicated freighters with the aim of operating cargo flights on long-haul routes including destinations in Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and African region.
SpiceJet has a dedicated fleet of nine freighter aircraft consisting of five Boeing 737s, three Bombardier Q-400s and one Airbus A340.
Incidentally, the airline has also added another feather to its cap by becoming the first to operate non-stop cargo flight from Europe on a dedicated freighter.
The flight departed from Amsterdam at 10.50 pm (local time) on Friday, August 21, carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies and landed in Mumbai at 10.54 AM (local time) on Saturday.
The same aircraft will operate from Mumbai to Khartoum in Sudan on Sunday. An airline official said that the A340 freighter will be carrying 40 tonnes of cargo. This will be SpiceJet’s first non-stop cargo flight to Africa as the low-cost carrier has earlier flown to Sudan via Ras Al-Khaimah.
“We successfully operated our first wide-body long-haul flight from Europe. The induction of our first Airbus A340 cargo aircraft has significantly enhanced our operational capability and will allow us to operate non-stop cargo services across the globe to destinations in Europe, Africa and CIS countries.”~ Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director of SpiceJet
Earlier in April, SpiceJet was the first Indian airline to operate first of its kind cargo-on-seat flights for flying essentials. It operated its first cargo-on-seat flight carrying 11 tons of vital supplies in the passenger cabin and belly space in a Boeing737 aircraft.
The airline has operated over 5764 cargo flights and transported over 31,800 tonnes of cargo, which according to the airline, is more than double of all domestic airlines combined. These flights carried medicines, medical equipment, fruits and vegetables across India and the world since March 25.
Apart from this, SpiceXpress a dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet has been regularly transporting surgical supplies, sanitizers, face masks, among others and providing doorstep deliveries of essential supplies, medicines and medical equipment across cities.