Monday, May 15, 2006

Air India starts talks to buy cargo space in rival airlines

New Delhi: Cruising forward on plans to re-enter the air freight market, state-owned Air India has initiated talks with its rival international airlines to buy belly space in their aircraft for transporting cargo.
Alongside, the airline has also sent two of its Airbus A310 passenger aircraft to be converted into a dedicated freighter planes.
"We feel there's a huge scope in the freight market and are trying to target this space. We have already initiated talks with international airlines to lease belly space in their planes flying out of India. We are initially targeting the Kerala-Gulf route for perishable commodities, and also the India-Europe particularly Germany route," Air India chairman and managing director K Thulasidas told ToI.
AI had discontinued its loss-making freighter service in the mid-90s. While it would piggyback on rival airlines for re-entry into freight market, Thulasidas said the carrier has initiated steps to put in place a dedicated freighter service of its own.
14/05/06 Byas Anand/Times of India