Monday, September 17, 2018

Air Cargo Group Opts for Regular Afghanistan Freight Service

New Route for a New Airline
Shipping News Feature
INDIA – AFGHANISTAN – SpiceXpress, a recently launched dedicated air cargo subsidiary of low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet, has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) which will see the carrier launch regular freighter services to the country's capital.

Promoting trade for Afghanistan via Indo-Afghan air corridor, SpiceJet plans to transport circa 1,500 tonnes of cargo every month under this MoU from October 15, flying between Delhi and Kabul. In collaboration with ACCI and with the support of the government of Afghanistan, SpiceJet aims to transport fresh and dry fruits, carpets and other commodities from Kabul to different states of India at competitive prices, which will be subsidised by the Afghan Government

SpiceJet will be transporting these commodities from Kabul using its freighter aircraft to Indian metro cities and through its pan India passenger flight network to distribute it to 47 cities in India. The airline signed the MoU right after the introduction of its first freighter aircraft, a Boeing 737-700. SpiceJet plans to have an air cargo fleet with the first four freighters scheduled to be introduced in 2019.

SpiceXpress which starts operation from September 18, functions as a separate business unit of SpiceJet Limited. SpiceXpress has laid out a detailed plan covering both domestic and international routes. To begin with the air cargo operations will cover Delhi, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Hong Kong, Kabul and Amritsar.

With the introduction of freighters, the airline is aims to strengthen its footprint whilst offering safe, on-time, efficient and seamless air cargo connectivity across India, Asia and Europe. SpiceJet will offer direct freighter operations powered by its fully integrated transportation network including air cargo, ground transportation and warehousing facilities across the country.

The current cargo capacity of SpiceJet’s existing fleet is about 500 tonnes per day and with the launch of the dedicated freighter service this capacity would go up to 900 tonnes a day in a phased manner with the addition of four freighters by March 2019.

SpiceJet currently offers cargo capacity on its passenger aircraft fleet of 36 Boeing and 22 Q400s operating across 47 domestic and 7 international destinations. The added capacities through the acquisition of the freighters will enhance the airline’s existing cargo competence to 60 domestic destinations by the end of this year. SpiceJet aims to further ramp up this competence servicing up to 150 destinations across India, Asia and Europe by 2022. SpiceJet says it intends to shore up SpiceXpress’s existing capacity, transforming it into a full scale freighter cargo service.