Indian Air Cargo Supplement for March issue

The Indian air cargo market had the second fastest growth rate in the world after China, with international volumes growing at an annual rate of 19 per cent and domestic cargo volumes at 34 per cent. And substantial and sorely needed investment in airport infrastructure has been a key priority of the Indian government over […]


The Indian air cargo market had the second fastest growth rate in the world after China, with international volumes growing at an annual rate of 19 per cent and domestic cargo volumes at 34 per cent.

And substantial and sorely needed investment in airport infrastructure has been a key priority of the Indian government over the past two to three years.

While the global economic crisis clearly took the wind out the sails of India’s wildly growing aviation market, the bounce back is expected to be quick for India. Even this year the Indian economy is expected to grow at around 5-7 per cent, with a bounce back in 2010-11 as the globalcrisis recedes.

Although much of the country’s air cargo uplift was comprised of foreign carriers, a rapidlygrowing domestic air cargo fleet was stalled by the global economic crisis. Air India was the firstscheduled passenger airline in India to enter thisarena, and had prior to the downturn, plannedto embark on a 25 per cent capacity expansion.Airlines like Jet and Kingfisher have announcedplans to form cargo offshoots and new dedicatedcargo carriers like Flyington Freighters havesprung up looking to tap the rapidly growing airfreight opportunities in India.

A recent move by the Indian government to lift the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit in cargo airlines from 49 to 74 per cent is also attracting major overseas players to expand their Indian networks and capacity. In particular carriers from the Middle East like Emirates, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad have all been increasing their capacity and services to India.