Cathay launches Indian duo

CATHAY Pacific has introduced two new routes to India, but cargo storage constraints in the country are becoming an issue.

From 1 August the airline will launch a new 747-400F twice-weekly service to Bangalore in India, on a Hong Kong (China)-Delhi (India)-Bangalore-Hong Kong routing.

For flights into Bangalore, the airline expects to see strong interest from China and countries in northeast Asia for shipments of computers, computer components, high-value electronic goods, integrated circuits/semi-conductors and garments. The main markets out of Bangalore will be Japan and North America, with shipments of cars, auto parts, pharmaceuticals, garments and textiles.

A direct twice-weekly freighter service has also started between the southern industrial hub of Chennai (India) and Frankfurt (Germany). The airline currently four freighter services from Chennai to Hong Kong (China). These freighters will continue onwards to Manchester (UK) and Brussels (Belgium).

Indian expansion brings about its problems, Ashish Kapur, regional manager, Cathay Pacific Cargo, warned. India’s lack of onsite storage facilities is the biggest challenge for the country’’ air cargo growth.

“Warehouse infrastructure is a big problem. It takes five to six days, on average, for trucks to reach the warehouse in Delhi. This kills the time advantage that air cargo gives,” Kapur said. “In more mature markets there are private-bonded warehouses with Customs checks. That is what we need here. Some work is happening in Chennai but it is not enough.”

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