Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Capitalising on India’s growing airfreight market

Capitalising on India’s growing airfreight market

Surpassing China’s population and a vibrant economy set to top US 5 trillion dollars in GDP by 2030, the vast opportunities across India’s supply chain and cargo sector are clear.

READ: Korean Air’s green flight path

This growth creates demand for the airfreight sector, bringing questions about boosting fleets and infrastructure.

Nikhil Ved, Managing Director of Blue Dart Aviation, stated that the country has been “slow” to react, making it “challenging” to meet market demand.

According to Ved, the Indian air cargo industry needs a fundamental policy shift to ensure a more appropriate distribution between freighter cargo and bellyhold cargo, sustaining the expansion of the country’s aviation sector.

Mark Sutch, Chief Commercial Officer of Cargo at IndiGo, asserted that a strategic approach is mandatory for scheduled freighter operations, as the current situation puts India far away from its proposed goal of 10 million tonnes by 2030.

It is vital for the Indian air cargo market to focus on the transhipment market with smooth and cost-effective strategies, Sutch highlighted, pointing to how a robust fleet, with a mix of long and medium-haul aircraft, would boost capacity.

READ: Agility amid uncertainty

Sanjeev Gadhia, Founder and CEO of Astral Aviation, added his views emphasising network strategies: “The one hub strategy in the air cargo domain doesn’t work in larger markets. It has proved to be a failure in Africa and will be in the Indian market.”

He added that there must be a clear distinguishing line between passenger and cargo domains of air transportation, citing how there have been cases of dangerous goods being flown onboard passenger aircraft, putting people at risk. Furthermore, aircraft need to undergo a planned phase-out process to make way for new aircraft which will fit the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) and COP28 climate conference compliances, allowing the industry to meet its 2030 goal of cutting carbon emissions by 5%.

Chief Commercial Officer ISMEA, Silkway West Airlines, Johnny Rubio asserted, “There is a tremendous export niche from India and opportunity enablers for the air cargo industry.” For example, the Indian e-commerce market is becoming a multi-billion dollar industry, allowing operators more ability to provide point-to-point solutions.

Nipun Anand, Founder & CEO at Pradhaan Air Express, a new entrant into the industry in India, stated, “Asset utilisation has been of tremendous success by far since its inception. Ease of operations has proven to be very comfortable being a non-scheduled operator, and the aircraft on its inventory have achieved the operation as far as Southeast Asia.”

Elaborating further, Anand stated, “Pradhan Air is looking to enter the potential markets in the United States and the European Union, with the possibility of broader body aircraft joining their fleet over the coming years.

“But for now, the carrier will exclusively focus on tier 1 and tier 2 city movement as a strategy.”

Picture of Ajinkya Gurav

Ajinkya Gurav

With a passion for aviation, Ajinkya Gurav graduated from De Montford University with a Master’s degree in Air Transport Management. Over the past decade, he has written insightful analysis and captivating coverage around passenger and cargo operations. Gurav joined Air Cargo Week as its Regional Representative in 2024. Got news or comment to share? Contact


Stay informed. Stay ahead. To get the latest air cargo news and industry trends delivered directly to your inbox, sign up now!

related articles

LogiPharma reveals top three insights from 2024 conference

Pledge partners with Australian and Canadian freight forwarder associations

UK logistics company announces first US office in Dallas