• Bar chart: ITJ

08.02.2024 By: Andreas Haug

Artikel Nummer: 48227

Post-lockdown blues

The Indian air cargo industry hasn’t recovered from Covid-19 yet. The national and international air cargo industry is meeting up in Mumbai for Air Cargo India on 14–16 February. The trade fair and conference will focus on a market that, although very lively, still hasn’t quite overcome the trough caused by the pandemic yet.

2023 was marked by large orders from the low-cost airline Indigo, as well as from the national carrier Air India (see also page 8 of ITJ 27-30 / 2023). On 18 January Akasa Air confirmed the trend in the new year by placing an order for 150 Boeing B737s at the ‘Wings India’ trade conference, held in Hyderabad in January.

Rémi Maillard, Airbus’s president and managing director for India and South Asia, as well as Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, India’s civil aviation minister, attended said meeting and spoke about Indian domestic airlines’ unsatisfied hunger.

The European plane-maker expects the Indian aviation sector to require approximately 2,840 additional aircraft by 2035, and thus expects the value of its orders there to double to USD 1.5 billion.

Maindeck capacities continue to play only a minor role, but Indigo’s entry into the cargo market nevertheless sent out a strong signal (see also page 14 of ITJ 47-48 / 2023). Its move came just before the recovery of the air cargo market after the slump in financial 2020-21.

The Indian Airports Authority has said that business now only stands around 5% below pre-pandemic levels (see bar chart below). From April to November 2018 the country’s airports handled approximately 2.29 million t of airfreight as well as mail (1.37 million t across borders and 917,000 t domestic).


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