Blue Dart adds two Boeings to its fleet

News Clip : Telegraph, Kolkata

31st May, 2006.

Blue Dart Express, the air express, courier and package distribution company, today inducted two Boeing 757-200 freighters into fleet.

The aircraft were taken on lease by Blue Dart Aviation, which has an agreement with Blue Dart Express to utilise the aircraft for dedicated domestic services.

Blue Dart also said it would invest Rs 25 crore in the current year to launch an aviation hub in Ahmedabad and strenghten its air infrastructure in the country.

"We will strenghten our air infrastructure and launch an aviation hub in Ahmedabad. We have expansion plans in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. we will invest Rs 25 crore in the current year for these projects," said Blue Dart Express managing director Malcolm Monteiro.

However, Monteiro declined to divulge the financial details of the lease agreement, but clarified that the Rs 25 crore investment does not include the aircraft leasing.

The additions to its freighter fleet of five aircraft will increase capacity from 166 to 250 tonnes per night to service the growing demand. It will also enhance Blue Dart's network in the country.

Following the induction, Blue Dart's route network will be extended to 60 with the addition of 21 route connections to the existing 39.

The Boeing 757-200 freighter is a derivative of the twin - engine passenger jetliner. The 757 freighter has a two person flight deck and is designed to accept up to 15 pallets with a payload of 28 tonnes on its main deck, and additional freight in its lower holds.

Monteiro said Blue Dart would service the five metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Chennai and Bangalore and the sub metro cities of Hyderabad and Ahmedabad, which account for 90 per cent of the total air cargo distribution.

Blue Dart Aviation MD Niteen Gupte said, "We are the only airline offering dedicated domestic air express services and operate at an average load factor of 88 per cent. We have a fleet of seven aircraft and seven aviation hubs at all major metros. With these aircraft, our network capacity increases by 50 per cent."

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