By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Seeing a tremendous growth in the cargo segment, airline major IndiGo might add freighter aircraft in its fleet.
Industry insiders told IANS that the airline is evaluating a proposal to add freighter aircraft, which will help the company expand cargo services to China, Singapore and Malaysia in the near future.
The move to haul more cargo via freighters assumes significance as the segment has seen a massive demand surge due to the pandemic.
When contacted the company did not elicit a response.
According to industry insiders, with air passenger numbers expected to remain low, the industry is look at other avenues to augment revenues such as the dedicated Cargo services.
In the initial days of the lockdown, the sudden demand for freight and high charges allowed airlines to gain some revenue.
This trend is expected to continue.
At present, the airline continues with "CarGo in cabin" operations.
These type of services are expected to be retained even after resumption of full schedule.
Currently, the airline has 10 passenger aircraft completely deployed for cargo operations in freighter mode.
The airline has managed to earn marginally higher revenue within the last five to six months at limited capacity as compared to the last financial year.
It has already transported cargo equivalent to the loads carried in the last financial year.
Till September, the airline has operated over 1,700 cargo charters, transporting more than 14,300 MT of supplies since April 18th across 21 destinations within India and internationally, including new stations like Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Cairo in Egypt, Almaty in Kazakhstan and Tashkent in Uzbekistan.
Besides, the move allows it to become the only second player in the airline industry that has freighter aircraft in its fleet.
The proposal also provides the airline with a differentiated service standards than the aircraft belly space provide in other type of passenger planes.
Such a differentiated standard would include temperature controlled cargo service essential for ferrying vaccines and perishable items.
The airline has been an active participant in the Centre's 'Lifeline Udan' scheme.
(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at email@example.com)
Bengaluru, Nov 25 (IANS) South Western Railway's (SWR) Divisional Railway Manager, Ashok Kumar Verma, on Tuesday flagged off the first export-bound New Modified Goods (NMG) rake from the Hosur railway station to neighbouring Bangladesh.
This is the first NMG rake dispatched by the South Western Railway to Bangladesh.
Speaking to reporters, Verma said the rake consisting of 25 wagons loaded with 100 light commercial vehicles (LCVs) is called "Dost" and has been manufactured by Ashok Leyland. It left for Benapole railway station in Bangladesh.
He said that transportation of automobiles by train is safer and faster compared to transportation by road. "Nont only it is safe and cheaper, but it is also easy to monitor the movement of the consignment in trains with real-time check in practice," he said.
The SWR in a statement claimed that earlier, the Bengaluru division had dispatched two export-bound NMG rakes to Nautanwa (Nepal) from the Penukonda railway station. "Overall, the division has loaded 128 NMG rakes during the current financial year," the statement added.
Verma said the Bengaluru division, which was mainly transporting raw materials and essential commodities, took to loading of automobiles for the first time when it transported 175 tractors from the Doddaballapur railway station to Phuleria in Rajasthan on April 29 this year.
Upbeat about change in the recent policies such as two points unloading of NMG rakes and exemption of terminal charges for automobiles, Verma said that these policy changes have certainly boosted the loading of automobiles by India in Railways.
"In 2020-21, five NMG rakes have been loaded from Hosur. Apart from the rake that left for Bangladesh today, 5,528 two-wheelers have been sent in four rakes to Mandideep in Madhya Pradesh," the Verma said.
The SWR statement added that during the current year, 65 rakes of automobiles manufactured by TAFE, mainly tractors, have been transported by train from the Doddaballapur railway station near Bengaluru.
Till date, a total of 5,600 cars have been transported to Farukh Nagar in Haryana and Nautanwa in Uttar Pradesh from Penukonda in 55 rakes.