Blue Dart rushes to haul up logistics capacities

News Clip : DNA, Mumbai

31st May, 2006.

Adds two Boeing 757-200 freighter aircraft to fleet

Even before Jet Airways made details of its proposed dedicated cargo service public, market leader Blue Dart has begun consolidate its position.

Blue Dart Aviation (BDA), India's only dedicated air freighter operator, is inducting two Boeing 757-200 freighter aircraft to its existing fleet of five aircraft. This would take the company's capacity to 250 tonnes per night from 166 tonnes currently, and enable it to increase network route to 60 from the existing 39. It is adding Ahmedabad to its existing network of six cities, which include Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

According to Malcolm Monteiro, managing director, Blue Dart Express, given the robust growth, India's air freight operations is expected to register fast growth. "Various studies have put the growth of domestic express cargo business at 17.2% to 22%. We have been, however, growing faster than the market," he said.

Various reports put the market size for express cargo (cargo which is air transported) at about Rs 2,600 crore. According to Niteen Gupte Managing director, Blue Dart Aviation, "The airline enjoys a load factor of 88%, and with the new aircraft joining the fleet, the figure may drop initially, but the company expects to fill the gap in 6-9 months."

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