LONDON – Indian carrier SpiceJet (SG) has unveiled its plans to add an Airbus A340 freighter to its cargo network.

A report from The Times of India states that the aircraft would be used for transporting cargo goods and essential supplies to long-haul destinations.

This would include Europe, Commonwealth and Independent States (CIS) as well as Africa.

Photo: Air Cargo News

Current Growth & Chairman’s Comments

This means that the freighter wing of the airline will have five Boeing 737s and three Bombardier Dash 8 Q400s that will complement this aircraft.

Before the A340 Freighter, the three Q400s were the most recently introduced freighter aircraft, back in May.

This was to enable the airline to operate to tier II and tier III cities and to remote and hilly areas.

Commenting on this was Ajay Singh, Chairman of SpiceJet who commented on this next step for its freight business.

“Very soon, an Indian carrier will be proudly operating non-stop cargo services across the globe to destinations in Europe, Africa and CIS countries which till a few months back would have been unthinkable”.

Since March 25, over 5,600 cargo flights have been operated by the airline, amassing 31,000 tonnes of cargo handled.

Photo: SpiceXpress

Significant Expansion During COVID-19

June 2020 saw the airline become the largest cargo operator in India.

From delivering medical goods to other key essentials around the country, this has sparked a considerable expansion.

The cargo expansion has evidently enabled SG revenues that it needs to focus on its other side of operations. Commercial flight.

Photo: Eurospot

Commercial Boost

Back in July, it was announced that SpiceJet and IndiGo (6E) were looking into wet-leasing Airbus A330 to fly to London (LHR).

The airline later revealed that it would be wet-leasing Airbus A330neos from HiFly to operate services to Amsterdam.

The first flight, which occurred on August 1, was a repatriation flight to Bengaluru (BLR).

In the same month, SG in particular was given designation for operations in the United States, potentially making the airline the first budget company to fly to the country from India.

Then this month, the airline announced it secured the slots to operate to London Heathrow, which was agreed through the “air-bubble” arrangement between the two countries, effective on September 1.

Finally, around 10 days ago, SG then stated it operated its maiden charter flight to Canada, through the use of the same HiFly A330neos.

It repatriated 352 Canadian nationals and permanent residency holders from New Delhi to Toronto.

Airbus A340. Photo: Airways

Looking Ahead

It will be interesting to see what destinations SpiceJet aims to serve with the A340 freighter.

Like with many other airlines globally, the passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversion during a global pandemic is working well to remain afloat.

Any extra revenue streams that the industry can delve into is the most important. Otherwise, we will continue to see bankruptcies going forward.

Featured Image: Airbus A340 in all-white livery. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons