• Saturday, June 25, 2022


India’s biggest carrier IndiGo flies closer to getting first cargo jet

An Indigo flight (Photo: SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA’S largest carrier IndiGo is inching closer to get its first cargo plane as it aims to capitalise on the growth in air cargo in times of the pandemic.

According to a report by Bloomberg, an IndiGo CarGo-branded plane was seen in Singapore’s Seletar Airport which mainly serves private jets and a few regional commercial flights and is a hub for maintenance clusters.

The cargo jet, registered as 9H-AMQ, is an Airbus SE A321 which has previously been used by carriers such as Aeroflot PJSC, Lithuanian group Avion Express UAB and Thomas Cook Airlines, Planespotters.net said.

An IndiGo representative said the jet’s delivery to India was likely to take place in August although no precise date was finalised, Bloomberg added.
Demand for dedicated cargo planes shot up after Covid-19 impacted air travel and carriers could not transport freight in passenger planes’ belly hold as they were grounded.

Before the pandemic, around 60 per cent of all international air-cargo capacity flew in the passenger planes’ holds, the International Air Transport Association said.

Some carriers even temporarily converted some passenger jets to freighter planes to meet the demand.

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd., which runs IndiGo, revealed in 2021 its plan to source four converted A321ceo planes that can carry 27 tonnes each, for full-time cargo operations both on domestic and international routes.

It said it expected to bring on board its first freighter in the first half of 2022 and the rest within a year of the first delivery.

IndiGo chief executive officer Ronojoy Dutta said at the airline’s fourth-quarter earnings call that cargo went up 31 per cent year-over-year.

“Cargo is strong and all the signs are there that cargo will continue to be very strong going forward,” he said.

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