India: Cargo carriers may get to do own Indian handling

India’s civil aviation ministry may allow cargo carriers like Blue Dart and UPS to do their own ground handling at airports. Th is is a result of a recent representation by Blue Dart, the country’s largest operating cargo carrier, against a new ground handling policy which will come into effect in airports from 1 January, […]


Blue Dart Indian handling Tulsi Mirchandaney UPS


India’s civil aviation ministry may allow cargo carriers like Blue Dart and UPS to do their own ground handling at airports. Th is is a result of a recent representation by Blue Dart, the country’s largest operating cargo carrier, against a new ground handling policy which will come into effect in airports from 1 January, 2009.

The representation criticised the proposed policy, saying it ignores the needs of express cargo services which require special handling and would only be increasing their costs and decrease effi ciency of the operations.

The new ground handling policy dictates that the same set of agents would handle passenger baggage and cargo that is carried in the bellyhold of passenger aircraft, along with express cargo. Firms such as Blue Dart have protested that the policy ignores the needs of express cargo services. Blue Dart argued that express cargo carriers should be allowed to do their own handling at the airports rather than being forced to outsource to others, like in the US and Europe.

“We have engaged consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) to look at the air cargo policy, which will be finalised in some time. Issues being looked at include allowing cargo carriers to do their own ground handling at airports.We understand that ground handling agents may not be skilled enough tohandle express cargo which is operatedby freighter airlines,” said a senior civilaviation ministry official.