12:00 AM, September 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 11, 2018

India's SpiceJet to launch air cargo services

India's private low-cost airline SpiceJet yesterday said it would launch its dedicated air cargo services from September 18 to carry, among other items, perishable goods like farm fresh fruits and vegetables to international and domestic destinations.

The carrier said it would operate the cargo services under the brand name 'SpiceXpress' and has a detailed plan for domestic as well as international routes.

SpiceJet would be the first scheduled domestic airline to start dedicated air cargo services in India. A Boeing 737-700 plane has been inducted as the first freighter aircraft which has a capacity for 20 tonnes of cargo, an airline statement said.

"To begin with, the air cargo operations will cover four Indian cities and Hong Kong and Kabul,” it added.

SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said there is a huge untapped market for air cargo services in India.

"With our proven operational capability, this is an extension of our 'belly cargo' service to a 'dedicated freighter' with Boeing 737 aircraft," he said.

SpiceJet's existing fleet has a cargo capacity of about 500 tonnes per day. "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," the airline said.

With a fleet of 36 planes, SpiceJet operates an average of 412 flights daily to 54 destinations.