Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has launched twice-weekly services between Singapore and three Indian cities – Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.
On February 20, SpiceJet’s first flight from Chennai landed at Changi Airport at 11.15 am.
The new services, operated under SpiceJet’s cargo arm- SpiceXpress, using a B737F aircraft,will provide additional airfreight capacity between Singapore and India.
SpiceJet launched its cargo operations under SpiceXpress in September 2018 and has since expanded its fleet to 19 cargo aircraft, including five widebody aircraft (as of January 2021). Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the airline has aided in the transportation of critical goods and medical supplies internationally. It has emerged as India’s largest air cargo operator by fleet and cargo carriage.
Retaining connectivity between Singapore and India
Amid the pandemic, global air travel saw a massive dip. In a bid to address the dip in bellyhold cargo capacity due to the decline in passenger traffic at Changi Airport, Changi Airport Group (CAG) has been working closely with its airline partners who operate the Singapore-India route to make sure that supply chains remain open and intact.
India was Changi Airport’s sixth largest air cargo market in 2020, with cargo tonnage reaching 75,000 tonnes for the year.
SpiceJet operated over 230 chartered cargo flights between April and December 2020, comprising of freighter and cargo-only passenger flights, between India and Singapore. This has helped support air trade and the conveyance of humanitarian goods, including medical supplies and perishables, between the two countries.
There are four other cargo airlines (AeroLogic, FedEx Express, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Cargo) in addition to SpiceJet, operating freighter flights between Singapore and India. In 2020, airlines such as Emirates, IndiGo, Singapore Airlines and SriLankan Airlines have also operated cargo-only passenger flights between India and Singapore.
“CAG has been engaging SpiceJet for several years to mount scheduled services to Singapore, hence we are pleased to welcome SpiceJet to Changi’s family of airlines. In these challenging times when air cargo capacity is constrained, the introduction of SpiceJet’s freighter service is much welcomed. The additional capacity helps support the transportation of essential goods such as medical and food supplies between the two countries.”~Lim Ching Kiat, Managing director of Air Hub Development, CAG
“We are much delighted to commence our scheduled freighter operations to Singapore. This development would strengthen air trades between the two countries by providing faster and seamless logistics solutions. In addition, this strategic move would help SpiceXpress build its network in South East Asia. Singapore is also well-positioned as a springboard for SpiceXpress into other markets such as Europe and Australia.”~Sanjiv Gupta, SpiceXpress CEO
In January 2021, Changi Airport handled 146,000 tonnes of airfreight throughput in total. The number as of February 2021, of weekly cargo flights at Changi Airport has tripled to more than 950 compared to 2019, and the airport is now connected to about 70 cities by weekly cargo flights.