HONG KONG: Cathay Pacific Cargo increases India service

Cathay Pacific Cargo has launched direct freighter services between Chennai and Frankfurt. The bi-weekly service builds on the current four freighter services Cathay currently operates from Chennai to Hong Kong. The new freighter service will continue onwards to Manchester on Wednesday and Brussels on Thursday, making Cathay Pacific Cargo online to three European destinations from […]


Cathay Pacific Cargo has launched direct freighter services between Chennai and Frankfurt. The bi-weekly service builds on the current four freighter services Cathay currently operates from Chennai to Hong Kong. The new freighter service will continue onwards to Manchester on Wednesday and Brussels on Thursday, making Cathay Pacific Cargo online to three European destinations from South India. “India is shining – a growing economic super-power and has always been a big focus for Cathay Pacific Cargo,” said Tom Wright, general manager – India, Middle East, Africa & Pakistan. “We have grown in the country over the last few years and today we are the biggest freighter operator in India. Ever since we launched freighter services from Chennai to Hong Kong in 2006, the route has always performed well. With South India becoming the industrial hub of the country we are thrilled to commence freighter services from Chennai to Frankfurt.” Regional cargo manager, India, M.E, Africa, Pakistan, Nepal & Bangladesh, Ashish Kapur added: “Cathay Pacific Cargo is committed to India, having served this ever-growing market for the last 17 years with freighters from Hong Kong to India and onwards to Europe and the Middle East. The new Chennai- Frankfurt service will ease up the capacity constraints that this route has been experiencing and will enable the freight forwarding community in South India to enjoy access to the European markets. We firmly believe that this new Cathay Pacific direct flight service between Chennai and Frankfurt will help strengthen the economic ties between the two cities.” The cargo carrier is also likely to start receiving deliveries of 10 B747-800 freighters from August with the possibility some of these might be deployed on the Indian routes. “Immediately the new aircraft will be deployed on the North American routes but as we re-align the fleet on different routes I think some of the 747-800s will come to India. It also depends on the infrastructure. I think the Delhi airport will be able to handle it,” added Kapur. Commenting on the potential of the Indian market for air cargo, he said: “From Cathay’s perspective the import and export is very well balanced. There’s a difference of about 8-9 per cent between what we carry into India and what we carry out. So this helps us utilise the aircraft fully. If some of the infrastructure issues get sorted out then air cargo definitely has a potential to do very well in India.” But Kapur went on to voice concerns about the existing infrastructure in the country being a challenge for the growth of the air cargo business. “Infrastructure is the biggest challenge. In Delhi, for example, it takes 5-6 days for a truck to reach the cargo warehouse and a further 2-3 days for processing. This kills the time advantage of air cargo over shipped cargo,” he said. He added that custom facilities need to grow and there should be more bonded warehouses to aid the growth of air cargo. Cathay Pacific Cargo flies out garments, machinery, leather, pharmaceuticals and automotive products from the country while it brings in electronics, telephones and electrical components.