SpiceJet’s Delhi-Kabul freighter service to start from October (Photo- Twitter/@tushar_yes)
Budget carrier SpiceJet on Thursday announced the launch of its Delhi-Kabul freighter service from October 15 and signing of a pact with the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) for transporting fresh fruit, dry fruits, carpets and other commodities from Kabul to India.
Under the pact, aimed at promoting trade for the war-ravaged country through the Indo-Afghan air corridor, SpiceJet plans to transport 1,500 tons of cargo every month, the airline said in a release.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by SpiceJet chief project officer Manjiv Singh and ACCI chief executive officer Atiqullah Nusrat along with senior adviser for banking and financial Affairs to the President of Afghanistan Ajmal Ahmady, the airline said.
“In collaboration with ACCI and with the support of Afghan government, SpiceJet will transport fresh fruits and dry fruits, carpets and other commodities from Kabul to India at government-subsidised competitive prices,” the release said.
SpiceJet would be transporting these commodities from Kabul using its freighter aircraft to Indian metro cities and through its pan-India passenger flight network would be distributing it to 47 cities in India, the airline said.
The two nations have opened up two direct air cargo routes - New Delhi-Kabul and Mumbai-Kabul. Since their launch, more than 100 flights have been conducted between the two countries and transported 2,500 tonnes of goods.
The collaborations comes days after the Gurugram-based no-frills airline announced launch of dedicated air cargo service under the brand name SpiceXpress from September 18.
To begin with the air cargo operations will cover Delhi, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Hong Kong, Kabul and Amritsar.
The airline has already inducted one freighter—a Boeing 737-700 -- in the fleet to commence cargo services. It plans to expand cargo fleet to four freighters during the current fiscal year.
SpiceJet currently offers cargo capacity which is about 500 tonne per day on its passenger aircraft fleet of 36 Boeing and 22 Q400s operating across 47 domestic and 7 international destinations.
With the launch of the dedicated freighter service this capacity would go up to 900 tonnes a day in a phased manner with the addition of four freighters by March 2019, the airline said.
Following the induction of freighters, the airline is all set to strengthen its footprint with seamless air cargo connectivity across India, Asia and Europe, it said.