No-frills carrier SpiceJet, which is expanding cargo operations, plans to start dedicated freighter services in the next one-two quarters, senior officials of the airline told FE.
The dedicated freighter service by Spicejet, which would be confined to the country’s north east region to begin with, will deploy one-two Bombardier Q-400 aircraft from its fleet, said Spicejet’s Manjiv Singh, who heads the cargo operations for the airline.
Spicejet currently has 35 aircraft in its fleet which include 18 Boeing 737, 2 Airbus 319 (on wet lease) and 14 Bombardier Q 400 aircraft.
The airline also plans to use un-utilized aircraft, during the night, to fly cargo from Bangalore to Delhi. The plans for this would be finalized in the coming months.
“The aircraft that will be used for this operation would be those sitting dead at night. They would be utilized to fly ‘cargo on seat’ between Bangalore and Delhi,” Singh said.
“These are on planning stage and should take shape in the next 3-6 months,” Singh added.
During August 2015, Spicejet earned Rs 7-8 crore from its cargo services. The airline, which expects its cargo revenues to hit Rs 25 crore in September, expects to earn Rs 30 crore a month from its cargo services from October.
“At present revenues from cargo operations is 3-4% of the airline’s passenger revenue. If our plans work out, these revenues should stand at 8-10% of our passenger revenue by the end of the current fiscal,” Singh said.
The airline has managed to improve its revenues from cargo operations by negotiating with agents, improving its services including delivery, Singh added.
The carrier has also constituted a ‘crack team’ under Singh to oversee its cargo operations and target customers and e-commerce companies.
Spicejet reported a profit of Rs 71.8 crore for the quarter that ended on June 30, compared to Rs 124.1 crore loss the airline posted during the same period of the previous year, as it cut costs by 42% during the above mentioned period, benefiting from a sharp drop in the fuel price.