After seeing the response in the Airline industry, Spicejet is planning to grab India’s E-Commerce market. The company is working on next-day delivery service that e-commerce players like Flipkart and Amazon are offering to customers. “E-commerce is a big driver behind our foray into the freighter business. “With next day delivery services of Amazon, Flipkart delivering high-value goods and equipment, there is a need for a freighter airline, which can offer time-specific services,” Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet said in a recent interview.
Note that, SpiceJet will have a separate entity for the freighter business under the brand name SpiceXpress. It would ship products like farm fresh fruits and vegetables to the international destinations.
Ajay is preparing an aggressive expansion plan to double the cargo capacity of the airline by inducting 13 aircraft by 2019.
“The current cargo capacity of the airline is about 500 tonnes per day and with the induction of the freighters it would go up to 900 tonnes per day by March 2019,” Singh added.
Through its freighter conversion programme, the aircraft manufacturer is transforming passenger airplanes into freighters. The seats are being removed creating space for cargo. Other modifications include installing a large main-deck cargo door, a cargo-handling system and accommodations for up to four crews.
SpiceJet is looking to target Blue Dart’s monopoly in the air cargo service with a market share of 49 percent.
Blue Dart operates with 6 Boeing 757 which has a daily capacity of 500 tons backed by the support of 11,122 vehicles and 610 retail outlets.
Singh’s new venture would also face competition from other airlines as they are also showing interest in into the business of dedicated freighter carriers.
“The aviation sector is witnessing an aggressive momentum to acquire new aircraft, which will further add to the capacity availability,” Blue Dart had mentioned in its annual report.
Experts believe that this new step will help in boosting revenue for the whole business as passenger yield doesn’t show any sign of improvement. The stock market, reacted negatively to SpiceJet’s announcement and as the company’s stock dropped by 0.87 percent.
Only time can tell if this move can work as a lifesaver for one of India’s biggest airline brand.