Air India plans to increase annual cargo capacity to 2 MT in next 5 years
New Delhi: Air India on Wednesday said it is aiming for a 300 percent growth in its annual cargo capacity to two million tonnes with non-stop connections to key export markets globally over the next five years.
The belly capacity of the Air India fleet will grow significantly over the next few years, with the addition of new wide body aircraft this year and with most aircraft on firm order set to arrive from 2025, complementing India's manufacturing and export growth, according to a statement.
This will have a cascading effect in generating greater employment prospects and boosting various business sectors, while supporting the economy, Air India said.
The airline in collaboration with its joint venture partner SATS will make substantial capital expenditure for developing airport and logistics infrastructure. It is also exploring the possibilities of augmenting freighter capacity in collaboration with partners.
Tata Group-owned Air India in June this year signed the purchase agreements to buy 470 aircraft from Airbus and Boeing.
The wide body aircraft order comprises 34 A350-1000, 6 A350-900, 20 Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and 10 Boeing 777X planes.
This will increase Air India's annual cargo capacity by a staggering 300 per cent to two million tonnes over the next five years with non-stop connections to key export markets globally, the statement said.
"At Air India, we see a huge potential in the air cargo industry, which the Indian Government plans to grow to 10 million tonnes by 2030.
"Our cargo division is implementing a series of strategic measures aimed at fostering growth and strengthening our market presence," Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said.
The large passenger belly capacity addition, Wilson said will be augmented with the launch of value-added products and services across the network.
According to Air India, various initiatives taken by it in recent times will not only enhance the role of the airline as a major cargo carrier but also bolster the country's cargo ecosystem and contribute to the development of an efficient air cargo supply chain accelerating exports from India.
Latest IT solutions are being integrated to strengthen the use of technology, including block chain, AI, and drones, to optimise productivity while short term changes haven been devised in the existing IT cargo system to enhance efficiency in various areas, the statement said.
These advancements will help Air India to deliver a wide range of services such as pharma and door-to-door logistics with global partners, e-commerce, and trans-shipment with connection windows, among others, it added.