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AI launches first dedicated cargo operations to Europe

Jul '07
At a press conference held on 27th June, 2007, Shri. Praful Patel, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, flagged-off Air India's first dedicated freighter aircraft to Europe.

The first converted aircraft (Passenger to Cargo A310) deployed on the Europe route (Bombay/Bangalore/Damam /Frankfurt/Damam/Bombay), has begun operations. The freighter A 310 aircraft will make four trips in a week via Bangalore and Chennai to Frankfurt and Paris.

Speaking at the occasion, Hon'ble Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Shri. Praful Patel said, “This is a major milestone achieved not only in Air India's history, but also in the history of Indian civil aviation. Cargo is one of the key components of the nation's economic growth. Our vision is to make Air India a preferred cargo carrier in the year's to come, and to this end I assure that the government will provide its full support.”

In all, two A310 passenger aircrafts have so far been converted into freighters for dedicated cargo operations. The conversion of A310s into freighters was undertaken by Global leaders in military transport and freighter aircraft, European Aeronautic Defense & Space Company (EADS) NV. The cost of conversion (of each aircraft) is $7,950,000.00 (Seven Million Nine Hundred Fifty Thousand US Dollars).

Air India's current market share in the export segment is in the range of 9-11% and 5-7% in the import segment. Owing to the upsurge in the import-export demand coined with the Open Sky Policy and globalization factors, Air India has decided to ramp-up cargo operations.

Addressing the media on the occasion of the launch, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, Mr. V. Thulasidas said, “Post the merger, the cargo is going to be one of the most important strategic business units for Air India. Our vision is to see a full fledged Air India cargo airline and I thank each and every employee of Air India cargo who has worked hard to shape this dream into reality.”

Air India

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