Jet Airways holds onto its cargo ambitions

India's Jet Airways has not given up its idea of starting a dedicated cargo carrier and the carrier's low-profile VP Cargo, Jay B Shelat told Payload Asia: "Jet's cargo ambitions as a dedicated freight carrier remain on hold. The business is being analysed. Once the market conditions and the environment improves, we will take another look." Manfred Singh has the story.

The environment that Shelat mentioned was the lack of infrastructure at various airports. “In this present environment, it is still difficult for Jet to launch a dedicated freighter service. The primary reason for that is that Jet does a decent job in delivering from airport to airport, but in order to get into a dedicated freighter service, especially in this domestic market, I think one needs to go beyond the airport up to the main destination – the first and the last mile. That component in this present infrastructure is very difficult. In fact, reaching the last mile is most difficult. Once infrastructure improves, we will think about it.”

Even so there have been recent reports of Jet tying up with FedEx and also with an European carrier way back in 2008. Dismissing such reports in the press, Shelat emphasised: “We do not have any tie-ups with integrators and I do not see that situation changing in the near future. We work with Fedex, UPS, TNT, DHL and everyone else. Integrators are our customers, but we do not have any specific tie-ups with any integrators like a JV.”

Ramping up cargo For the present, Jet is ramping up its cargo division. “Our cargo division presently contributes 7-8 per cent of the total revenue. Cargo constitutes 12 per cent of Jet’s revenue from international operations and four per cent from domestic operations. In two years, we want to boost revenues from air cargo to around 15 per cent and six per cent on international and domestic operations, respectively,” said Shelat.