As Air services resume, new changes are being made. The country’s largest carrier by domestic market share IndiGo is pondering to start dedicated freighter services in the wake of an expected surge in cargo transportation, especially to transport the Covid-19 vaccine, once it is available. The airline has already held preparatory discussions with European aviation major Airbus on the type of freighters that could be possibly put into service for dedicated freighter flights, according to an industry source.
IndiGo, which has over 250 planes in its fleet, is one of the largest customers of Airbus, especially A320 neo aircraft. To a question on whether the carrier is thinking to begin dedicated freighter services, IndiGo Chief Executive Officer Ronojoy Dutta said it was being investigated as a proposal. “This is being studied as a proposal. No final decision yet,” he told PTI. The source said that IndiGo is contemplating to start dedicated freighter services as it sees good demand for air cargo. An IndiGo executive, who is into handling the airline’s partnerships and aero-political affairs, recently held initial level discussions with Airbus executives on the type of air freighter that could be used for such operations, the source added.
“The dedicated air freighter service, however, is expected to be a division within the airline,” the source said. Cargo transportation raked in revenues for airlines when commercial air passenger services were suspended for a long period during the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. IndiGo clocked higher revenue by operating around 1,700 cargo flights between April 18 and September 7 as compared to the earnings over the last financial year. Precise figures were not immediately available.