Quikjet confirms launch of Indian operations as it looks to capitalise on e-commerce and lack of freighters
17 / 02 / 2016
Quikjet Airlines is the latest company to announce plans to capitalise on India’s fast-growing and underserved air cargo market as it confirms that it launched freighter services yesterday.
The Bengaluru-based Indian airline, which is 72.6% owned by the fast-growing ASL Aviation Group, launched operations using a B737-400SF connecting Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. From March 1 it will also connect Mumbai and Kolkata.
It will cater for express cargo, e-commerce and motor industries and hopes to capitalise on the lack of freighter capacity in the country. The airline also lists a ATR 72-200 Cargo in its fleet.
India has seen huge growth in the number of passenger aircraft but the freighter segment in India has not grown, and there are now just seven freighter aircraft serving what is the 7th largest economy in the world.
The scheduled overnight flights are being carried out on behalf of airport-to-airport logistics firm Sovika Aviation, but Quikjet will also offer domestic and international cargo charters.
The airline received its Air Operator’s Permit from India’s Director General of Civil Aviation in early February.
ASL Aviation Group chief executive Hugh Flynn welcomed the launch of Quikjet operations as a major innovation for business and industry in India.
He said: “Quikjet will now offer a neutral cargo service and as it grows it aims to serve multiple customers, airlines, business and industry to help enable growth, competitiveness and customer service.
“In turn this will benefit the economy in India and this benefit will be felt more and more as Quikjet expands its operations in the months and years ahead.
“We will be providing assistance and experience from the ASL airlines that currently serve the world’s major express integrator brands and we have no doubt that Quikjet will play a major role in the development and expansion of India’s cargo business.”
Quikjet Airlines chief executive Preetham Phillip added: “Our newly introduced connectivity with Sovika will provide a key advantage to the booming e-commerce industry.
“In some cases belly space is unsuitable for large-sized shipments or certain categories of goods that cannot be shipped on passenger airlines for regulatory reasons."
Sovika Aviation chief executive Sahil Mehta said: “This freighter is the perfect extension of our existing business model and complements well with our vision of connecting maximum airports across the country with effective air cargo services.”
The last few weeks have seen a lot of activity around India’s air cargo market as the country’s economy continues to grow while others flounder and logistics and transport firms look to capitalise on the development.
Earlier this month Indian newspapers reported that SpiceJet, close to closure in the last few years, was planning to launch a door-to-door service and it is ordering trucks and leasing warehouses to build the operation.
Air India is also reportedly looking to capitalise on the growing market by expanding services in the next two months.