Saturday, April 22, 2006

Carriers step up flights to key cities in India

With the liberalisation of the Indian aviation market and the rapid growth in the economy, airlines are boosting their services to that country.
Cathay Pacific Cargo on June 2 will launch B747-200F service from Hong Kong to Mumbai and Chennai. The flight will run twice a week, departing Hong Kong on Tuesdays and Fridays.
The airline has passenger and freighter flights to Mumbai and Delhi. Mumbai is served three times a week with a 747 freighter, which goes on to Dubai and Paris, heading back to base via Dubai International airport.
Korean Air, which launched B747F service from Seoul to Chennai in February, will increase its frequency to twice weekly in June, according to Soo Yeon Kim, a spokesman for the airline.
Singapore Airlines Cargo boosted its presence in the Indian market last October with the launch of a twice weekly 747-400F operation from its base via Delhi to Copenhagen and Chicago.
Late last year, American Airlines and Continental Airlines launched non-stop passenger flights from New Delhi to Chicago and New York respectively.
After a few months, the cargo executives are bullish about India. "We expected little to no capacity, but we average 15,000 to16,000 pounds to Delhi and 10,000 to 11,000 pounds from Delhi,'' said Mark Najarian, vice-president of cargo sales and marketing.
Lufthansa Cargo is also targeting India but was reluctant to reveal its plans.
22/04/06 Ian PutzgerToronto/Cargonews Asia, Hong Kong