Thursday, February 22, 2007

AFL may soon WiZ it on own cargo airlines

Kolkata: AFL, which has a presence in airfreight, logistics and express services, is exploring the viability of entering the cargo airlines space. The company recently inked a joint venture deal with Dascher, a leading German logistics player, to spin off its cargo division into a 50:50 joint venture. But, it seems, AFL will not stop there, and is now drawing up plans for launching a cargo carrier.
Industry sources said the carrier is likely to be an entirely separate business from the joint venture, with AFL chairman-cum-managing director Cyrus Guzder as an investor, but this could not be confirmed. When contacted by DNA Money, company sources refused to comment.
The exact fleet strength and investment figures were not available. An aviation analyst, however, said AFL’s captive cargo load, however, would not be enough to sustain the cargo carrier business. It will need to generate business “from outside.”
Retail is a likely area that can feed future cargo business in India in a big way, said an aviation analyst. He added while the passenger transportation segment is taking wings, the cargo business in India has remained largely untapped.
21/02/07 Madhumita Mookerji/Daily News & Analysis