Quikjet Airlines, which is majority owned by the Dublin-based ASL Aviation Group launched its freighter services today.
The inaugural flight took-off at 01.20h from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport to Bengaluru. Quikjet will operate a 21.2 tonne (11 pallets) capacity Boeing 737-400SF on the route.
Quikjet will initially offer four daily flights by operating overnight to link Delhi with Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in the first phase.
In the second phase, the carrier will connect Mumbai and Kolkata as the airline says it seeks to cover all major metro hubs.
Quikjet chief executive, Preetham Phillip says the launch is much needed and signals a new era in the Indian air cargo industry.
“We are significantly improving air cargo capacity and we now offer customers a far more premium service keeping in mind the time sensitive nature of the air cargo business. Our newly introduced connectivity with Sovika will provide a key advantage to the booming e-commerce industry.
“India has seen huge growth in the number of passenger aircraft but the freighter segment in India has not grown, and there are now just seven freighter aircraft serving the 7th largest economy in the world.
“In some cases belly space is unsuitable for large-sized shipments or certain categories of goods that cannot be shipped on passenger airlines for regulatory reasons. Our expertise and focus lies in providing much needed airport to airport air cargo connectivity.”
The ASL Aviation Group holds a 78 per cent stake in the Bengaluru-based QuikJet, which was granted an air operator permit by the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation earlier this month.
Quikjet is India’s first neutral cargo airline offering airport to airport freighter capacity with a premium overnight network specifically designed to serve the requirements of the express cargo, e-commerce and motor industries.
ASL Aviation Group chief executive, Hugh Flynn says: “Quikjet will now offer a neutral cargo service and as it grows it aims to serve multiple customers, airlines, business and industry to help enable growth, competitiveness and customer service.
“In turn this will benefit the economy in India and this benefit will be felt more and more as Quikjet expands its operations in the months and years ahead.”
The airline is launching with services for Mumbai based Sovika Aviation and will also be available for domestic and international cargo charters and says Sovika’s focus on customer service fits perfectly with the ethos and mission of Quikjet to always exceed customer expectations.
ASL Aviation Group expects Quikjet to grow this partnership with Sovika and to expand its services all customers based on its capability to provide a range of aircraft with varying payload options to suit specific customer requirements.
Flynn adds: “We see a dynamic future for Quikjet. There is a real and significant market need and Quikjet is already building its capability to serve this need. We will be providing assistance and experience from the ASL airlines that currently serve the world’s major express integrator brands and we have no doubt that Quikjet will play a major role in the development and expansion of India’s cargo business.”