SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo freighter service of the Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet, is ready to introduce freighters from Mumbai to Dubai, effective August 1, 2019. SpiceXpress will be taking delivery of three more freighters by the end of this year, that will take its total fleet count to five. The company has an ambitious plan of adding 20 freighters to its fleet by 2021.
Sanjiv Gupta, CEO Cargo, SpiceJet, during an event held in Mumbai in association with Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) stated that SpiceXpress and MIAL’s alliance will benefit in creating efficient infrastructure for time and temperature controlled cargo. He said, “We are here to establish a hub for us for quick clearance of Exim cargo and seamless ground handling.”
“From Mumbai, our focus is on pharma, valuables, perishables and courier loads. The idea is not for us to just take it to Dubai, but we might have interline agreements to carry it onwards to Africa, Europe, and the Americas.”Manjiv Singh, Advisor to the Chairman, SpiceJet
The airline has set certain milestones for the immediate future which includes launching a cargo app, rolling out RFID tracking of its cargo and adding 300 trucks through outsourcing to its existing 200.
MIAL has been aggressively expanding its cargo handling capacities to maintain its position as the key gateway for India’s growing agro and pharmaceutical export cargo. Once the current expansion projects are completed, which is expected to be done by September this year, MIAL will have an overall capacity to handle more than a million tonnes of cargo annually.
The agro terminal, which was commissioned in April 2019, has an annual capacity of 1,75,000 tonnes and with the new temperature controlled pharma facility with 127 ULD storage positions, to be operational by September, MIAL can handle 3,50,000 tonnes per annum. With more than half a million tonnes capacity for pharma and perishables cargo, MIAL is positioning itself as one of the most advanced and reliable gateways for pharma and agro products.
Meanwhile, the pharma and perishable throughput have been growing consistently since 2015 and in FY19 MIAL handled 1,95,666 tonnes of pharma and perishable cargo, which is 31% of overall cargo handled at the airport.
SpiceJet has become the first Indian low-cost carrier to bring in dedicated freighter service- SpiceXpress, which was launched in September 2018. It has launched freighter later this year between Guwahati and Hong Kong using B737F.