June 21, 2019: SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo airline of the Indian carrier SpiceJet is planning to introduce freighters from Mumbai to Dubai, effective August 1, 2019. The company will be taking delivery of three more freighters within a couple of months, making the overall freighters to five. By 2021, it has plans to add 20 freighters to its fleet which will consist of 777, 767 and 747.
In an event held at Mumbai in association with the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), Sanjiv Gupta, CEO-Cargo, SpiceJet, stated, “SpiceXpress and MIAL’s alliance will benefit in creating efficient infrastructure for time and temperature controlled cargo. We are here to establish a hub for us for quick clearance of exim cargo and seamless ground handling.” In the next two months, the airline will launch a cargo app, roll out radio frequency identification (RFID) and will add 300 trucks through outsourcing to its existing 200.
MIAL has been aggressively expanding its cargo handling capacities to maintain its position as the key gateway for India’s growing agro and pharmaceutical export cargo. Once the current expansion projects are completed, which is expected to be done by September this year, MIAL will have an overall capacity to handle more than a million tonnes of cargo annually. The agro terminal, which was commissioned in April 2019, has an annual capacity of 1,75,000 tonnes and with the new temperature controlled pharma facility with 127 ULD storage positions, to be operational by September, MIAL can handle 3,50,000 tonnes per annum. With more than half a million tonnes capacity for pharma and perishables cargo, MIAL is positioning itself as the advanced and the most reliable gateway for pharma and agro products. Meanwhile, the pharma and perishable throughput have been growing consistently since 2015 and in FY19 MIAL handled 1,95,666 tonnes of pharma and perishable cargo, which is 31 percent of overall cargo handled at the airport.
Manjiv Singh, advisor to the chairman, SpiceJet, said, “From Mumbai, our focus is on pharma, valuables, perishables and courier loads. The idea is not for us to just take it to Dubai, but we might have interline agreements to carry it onwards to Africa, Europe, and the Americas.”
GVK MIAL is the first airport in India and third in Asia to achieve IATA CEIV Pharma certification recently. It has undertaken the lead for ‘Airside Transport Benchmark’, which will be launched on July 1.
SpiceJet has become the first Indian low-cost carrier to bring in dedicated freighter service- SpiceXpress, which was launched in September 2018. It has launched freighter later this year between Guwahati, a city in the Indian state of Assam and Hong Kong using B737F.