First Flight, first to flee

First Flight Couriers has given notice to Indian aviation authorities, as well as its crew and pilots, of its plans to terminate flights and shut down its express air cargo operation. The company had started freighter operations with three leased ATP aircraft only four months ago in June. First Flight which began operations only five […]


First Flight Couriers has given notice to Indian aviation authorities, as well as its crew and pilots, of its plans to terminate flights and shut down its express air cargo operation.

The company had started freighter operations with three leased ATP aircraft only four months ago in June. First Flight which began operations only five months ago with three leased ATP aircraft was only the second company after Blue Dart Aviation to use dedicated aircraft to service the express air cargo segment.

First Flight’s document business had been growing steadily at 10 to 15 per cent per annum and in June 2007, Singapore’s Temasek Holdings picked up a 27.7 per cent equity stake in the company for Rs10.7 billion (US$26.5 million).

The carrier focused on the low-margin documents and letters segment, but had planned to enter the logistics segment comprising heavier packages and parcels.

Aside from Blue Dart, Gati, the Hyderabad-based third-party logistics (3PL) service provider, recently initiated air operations with a fleet of five Boeing 737 freighters leased from Air India.