INDIAN AIR CARGO SUPPLEMENT~ Kingfisher considering freighters

After completing its acquisition of Air Deccan, Kingfisher is embarking on a major fleet expansion as it begins its foray into international services, giving a boost to its belly hold cargo capacity which could soon lead to dedicated freighters.

Two and a half-year-old Kingfisher Airlines is looking for opportunities to deploy dedicated freighters but for the moment is content with the belly hold capacity from its combined fleet of 79 Airbus and ATR aircraft, according to Kingfisher’s general manager for cargo, Vijay Nair.

"We do have plans to look into dedicated freighters, whenever it looks viable and profitable,"he said. "With nearly 550 aircraft flying across India each day there is more than enough belly capacity to cater for the domestic needs.

"But, all said and done we are definitely looking for potential opportunities where we can deploy freighters but no concrete decision has been made on aircraft or routes,"he said. Potential routes would be either domestic or international as the carrier is going international with its first passenger flight by end of the year.

"If there is a good business case, if there is a potential on certain trade lanes, if there is a certain product that can be developed for which freighter capacity is required, we’re open to it,"Nair said. Most likely a dedicated freighter service outside the domestic market would follow its passenger routes for logistical reasons,he added.

Spreading its wings

Kingfisher recently purchased Air Deccan which roughly doubled its size and perhaps more importantly came with the five years of age minimum established by the Indian government before carriers can go international. The first international route will be Bangalore to San Francisco with Delhi to New York to follow, both using an A340.