New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Even as it awaits Centre’s clear indication on the commencement date of passenger services, airline major IndiGo plans to expand its international and domestic cargo operations.
Accordingly, the airline plans to launch cargo operations to China, Singapore and Malaysia in the near future.
The move to haul more cargo assumes significance as the airline has a massive domestic network and the largest aircraft fleet in India.
However, most of these flights have been operated on a “Free-of-Cost” basis to ferry medical equipment and other essentials.
The airline’s Chief Operating Officer William Boulter told IANS: “Cargo is playing a significant role for us since the passenger services are not active… We plan to expand our presence in this segment.”
“We have operated both domestic and international cargo services transporting medical essentials and other daily need items. Our flights to Abu Dhabi and Muscat provided fresh vegetables from India to a leading food store chain based there. We are looking for similar opportunities.”
Lat week, the airline operated first cargo flight service to Muscat and Abu Dhabi from the southern port city of Kochin.
On April 18, IndiGo for the first time used the aircraft’s cabin space for loading cargo on a flight between Kochin and Abu Dhabi.
Besides the gulf, the airline plans to haul cargo to China, Singapore and Malaysia in the near future.
“Malaysia, Singapore and China are on our radar to start cargo services,” he said.
“Our presence in the cargo segment will also increase in the domestic sector.”
Till now under the Centre’s Lifeline Udan scheme, the airline has operated 35 cargo flights from April 3-22 carrying 84 tonnes of cargo.
On the woes being faced by the sector, Boulter said that the airline is in constant touch with the Centre and is ready to implement any healthy safety measures as suggested by the government to restart the passenger services.
At present, the airline and the entire aviation sector suffers from the fallout of the national lockdown which has been implemented to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Nevertheless, IndiGo has also decided not to institute any pay cut for the month of the April barring only the senior most leadership.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])