A Delhi-based start-up with a global game plan

India’s newest cargo airline – Aryan Cargo Express (ACE) – is gearing up to begin operations in the coming months with ambitious plans in place to eventually offer integrated first-to-last mile cargo services across the globe.


Speaking to Payload Asia, ACE chairman and managing director, Capt. Mukut Pathak, said the new carrier aims to be not only a leader in air cargo transportation in India, but also amajor operator internationally.

The company will launch its cargo services in the coming months, with four Airbus 310-300F and eventually add more Airbus 330-200F/MD11F to its fleet. ACE has already secured the necessary approvals from the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation and is now waiting for the remainder of its initial fleet of A310-300Fs.

While coming from an aviation background, but not specifically cargo, Pathak – who was part of the Kingfisher Airlines start-up team – said he and two other key backers have spend the better part of four years planning and preparing for this year’s launch.

Noting that there are a number of models from which to base a cargo business, including charter ACMI business, integrated carrier business like Deccan 360, and also airport to airport. “To keep the risks low we decided to adopt the airport-to-airport. This allows us to go in lean and keep costs under control. That is one strong point in meeting competition.

“But at some point in time in future the yields will come under pressure whenwe bring on the bigger aircraft and at that point of time we will have to look atbecoming an integrated carrier. We planto do that through inorganic growth. Wewill look to acquire some players in themarket to acquire first- and last-mileconnectivity.” This will occur within twoto three years, Pathak added.