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Saturday, Mar 16, 2002

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Jet Air plans to expand cargo carriage

Ashwini Phadnis

NEW DELHI, March 15

JET Airways (JA), which hopes to record a 23 per cent jump in its cargo carriage at 75,000 tonnes during the next fiscal, is examining a host of initiatives to achieve the target, including automation of its entire booking and tracking system.

"The automation project is slated for this year. However, it will really get under way when it is cleared by the airline board," senior airline officials said. The airline carried 61,000 tonnes of cargo during the previous year.

The automation project, which is to cost several million dollars depending on the various modules adopted, will help the airline track the cargo consignment from the time of booking till delivery.

Besides, the airline is also looking to expand on the tie-up that it has with international airlines operating to and from India to carry cargo to and from the interiors of the country. Officials said the airline was keen to expand on the 750 tonnes of international airline cargo that it currently carries on its network.

The airline already has a tie-up with close to a dozen airlines in the country to transport their cargo. These include British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Gulf Air and the Israeli airline, EL-AL.

Further, Jet Airways is also in talks with various foreign exchange dealers to transport foreign exchange between various cities and is also keen to expand tonnage of valuable cargo. The cargo division, at present, accounts for about 5 per cent of the airline's revenue and moves are afoot to ensure that this reaches at least 8 per cent of the entire revenue earned by Jet Airways in the near future.

Currently, the airline's cargo facilities are used by a wide range of customers including couriers, postal department, financial institutions and multinational corporations. It transports a wide variety of goods including livestock, fresh flowers and life-saving drugs.

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