Air India to boost cargo capacity within the next five years

plane in sky with sunset

With the goal of achieving a record 300% increase in yearly cargo capacity to achieve 2m tonnes and non-stop links to major international export markets, the Tata Group-owned Air India has lofty plans for its cargo division for the next five years. By employing its upcoming fleet of wide-body aircraft, which will increase its capacity in the short- to medium-term, the airline also wants to strengthen its position in the air cargo sector with a goal of attaining a 20% market share over the next two to three years.

To this end, the airline recently announced its purchase agreements with Airbus and Boeing, which will increase its fleet by 470 aircraft, including the A350-1000, A350-900, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and Boeing 777X aircraft. According to an official statement, “this will have a cascading effect, generating greater employment prospects and boosting various business sectors, while supporting the Indian economy.”

Moreover, these developments will enable Air India to provide a wide range of services, including pharma and door-to-door logistics with worldwide partners, e-commerce assistance, trans-shipment with connection windows, and more. It is anticipated that the belly capacity of Air India’s fleet is likely to rise dramatically over the next few years, with the addition of new wide-body aircraft to its fleet this year and the majority of aircraft on firm order scheduled to arrive in 2025, supporting India’s industrial and export boom.

Air India’s expansion plans also include the establishment of three 24-hour control centres to integrate and improve consumer interface, service and operational efficiency. With its joint venture partner SATS, the airline intends to engage in capital expenditure for the development of airport and logistics infrastructure.

“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. The large passenger belly capacity addition will be augmented with the launch of value-added products and services across the network,” said Campbell Wilson, Air India’s CEO and MD.
Addressing a press conference, Wilson also talked about the proposed Air India and Vistara merger.

Following its takeover by the Tata Group in January 2022, the airline claimed a 64% increase in revenue in 2022 ($2.4bn). In addition, there has been a highly intense and broad overhaul of Air India’s cargo business and operations.

With increased capacity and technological adoption, Air India will be able to significantly diversify the products and services it provides, strengthening its standing on the international scene.

Source: Ti Insights

Author: Shruti Sasidharan

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