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Cathay Pacific Cargo to add more freighter ports in India - 2012-01-23

Cathay Pacific Cargo is likely to add Ahmedabad and Hyderabad in its freighter port network in India. Currently, the airline operates from New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore.

Cargo accounts for almost 30 per cent of the overall revenue of Cathay Pacific Airways and the cargo revenue for India alone is close to 28 per cent of the total India revenue. The freighter airline recently launched freighters directly from Chennai to Frankfurt twice a week, Bengalore to Hong Kong daily and Delhi to Zaragoza as well as Amsterdam. It also has a direct service connecting India to Spain.

“With all these additions we are now at 33 departures a week from India using four metros namely Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengalore,” said Mr Ashish Kapur, Regional Cargo Manager – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Cathay Pacific Airways. “India is a very important market for us. Apart from strengthening the existing routes and ports we are studying various routes at this moment for a possible launch in 2012,” he added.

In 2011, Mr Kapur said the freighter airline saw an increase of 18 per cent with 5 per cent increase in load factors. The airline group carried over 50,000 tonnes in both passenger and cargo flights from India in 2011.

“2012 year is expected to be one of the most challenging years. European debt crisis, slowdown in the US and other parts of the world is accounting for lower volumes and pressure on yields. However, we will continue to focus on our service, our product range and our comprehensive network,” he said.

Fuel accounts for major cost of the operations and fluctuations in fuel “have had an impact on the profitability”.

“We recover some amount by way of fuel surcharge but that does not cover full incremental cost. We have to maintain our yields well to ensure that we remain profitable.”

India is witnessing growth in many sectors like pharmaceuticals, automobiles, industrial products and electronics. “These are some of the areas where we can see growth and we will be focusing on these verticals,” Mr Kapur added.

Source: Hindu Business Line