More major air cargo hubs needed in India to attract transshipment traffic
INDIA's airlines and airports need more international cargo to meet the country's ambitious throughput targets to handle 10 million tonnes of cargo a year by 2027 - almost triple the current rate, say stakeholders
INDIA's airlines and airports need more international cargo to meet the country's ambitious throughput targets to handle 10 million tonnes of cargo a year by 2027 - almost triple the current rate, say stakeholders.
CEO of cargo carrier SpiceXpress, Sanjiv Gupta, cautioned that domestic cargo alone wouldn't be enough, adding on a webinar by Transport Logistic: 'We have to change our approach and become the preferred transshipment hub between South-east Asia and the west.'
SpiceXpress, the cargo arm of low-cost carrier Spicejet, has rapidly expanded operations this year, claiming to have emerged as 'India's largest cargo airline' after lifting 50,000 tonnes during its first financial quarter, ending June, reports UK's The Loadstar.
With a fleet of nine freighters, the carrier is making inroads with international cargo, recently adding several long-haul routes to Europe, Africa, China and Central Asia, but Mr Gupta said Indian airlines were still 'punching well below their weight'.
He explained: 'They really have to wake up and understand the potential of international cargo; it's the hidden jewel of cargo business in terms of profit. However, right now 95 per cent is handled by international carriers.
'But we can change that to a 50:50 split in two-three years if Indian carriers do their fleet planning for cargo. Then we can become a formidable player in international cargo markets.'
In September, India's civil aviation department restricted non-scheduled freighter flights by international carriers to six airports, hoping to ensure 'equal opportunity' for national airlines.
Huned Gandhi, Dachser's MD air & sea logistics for the Indian subcontinent, agreed it was possible for India to reach 10 million tonnes.
'We have made tremendous development in aviation over the past five years,' he said, adding that India should focus on building two or three major air cargo hubs, in the north-west and south of the country to faciliate east-west transshipment flows.
Export cargo growth was looking promising too, he added, noting 'many companies across Asia are looking to relocate manufacturing to India.'