NEW DELHI: With cargo proving to be the only bright spot for airlines during the pandemic, India’s largest carrier — IndiGo — has decided to hitch on this wagon.
It will make a start with four Airbus A321s converted from passenger planes to freighters. Struggling-to-survive SpiceJet is the only Indian carrier with freighters at the moment.
IndiGo is scheduled to get its first freighter by the June, and that will be used for both domestic and regional missions.
The remaining three aircraft are within a year “and further aircraft may be sourced depending on market development.”
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta said: “CarGo has been a success story over the last year, scaling new heights and creating new records, but our belief in the cargo business goes beyond the special circumstances right now. IndiGo was already the largest carrier of cargo in domestic India before Covid-19, and we expect the market to continue to grow after the pandemic.”
“ur investment in the Airbus Freighter Programme will help strengthen our product and services in the segment, and not only help accelerate our own business recovery but also be a strong engine of economic growth for the country,” he added.
The low cost carrier, which flies one in every two domestic travellers, is sourcing four A321ceo aircraft each of which will be converted from passenger to a full freighter configuration.
A letter of intent has already been signed with a lessor for two aircraft and the agreement for the next two is expected to be signed shortly. “The initiative will make best use of the natural synergies, using the same pool of pilots and engineers that fly and service its current fleet,” the airline said in a statement.
The A321P2F (passenger-to-freighter conversion) offers 24 container positions and supports a payload of up to 27 tonnes.

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