LONDON – IndiGo (6E) the largest Indian airline, has decided to expand its flight operations with the introduction of cargo aircraft in the fleet.
Currently, the only Indian airline to operate both commercial and cargo flights is SpiceJet (SG). 6E’s cargo expansion exemplifies the effects of the pandemic on airlines.
The Indian carrier will begin cargo flight operations with the entry of four Airbus A321P2F (Passenger to Freighter) starting in June and which will be used for both domestic and regional flights.
The last three aircraft that will arrive within the year “and further aircraft may be sourced depending on market development.” The A321P2F offers 24 container positions and supports a payload of up to 27 tonnes.
A letter of intent has already been signed with a lessor company for the supply of two aircraft, while for the other two it must be signed. “The initiative will make best use of the natural synergies, using the same pool of ilots and engineers that fly and service its current fleet,” the airline said in a statement.
Statement from 6E’s CEO
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said, “CarGo has been a success story over the last year, scaling new heights and creating new records, but our belief in the cargo business goes beyond the special circumstances right now. IndiGo was already the largest carrier of cargo in domestic India before Covid-19, and we expect the market to continue to grow after the pandemic.”“Our investment in the Airbus Freighter Programme will help strengthen our product and services in the segment…" IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta Click To Tweet
Dutta added that the freither program will also help accelerate 6E’s own business recovery and “be a strong engine of economic growth for the country.”
Featured image: Airbus A321P2F first flight landing. Photo: Airbus