Emirates SkyCargo sees slowdown in outbound traffic growth

Debabrata Das Mumbai | Updated on August 17, 2011

A view of the Emirates SkyCargo plane

Emirates SkyCargo, the market leader in the air cargo industry in India, expects outbound cargo growth to slow down to 7-8 per cent in the current financial year.

“India has always been a good market for us. The exports have been growing, but this year, there could be a slowdown in growth.

“Outbound cargo is expected to grow at 7-8 per cent. “Imports have also been steadily improving,” said Mr Keki Patel, Cargo Manager - India & Nepal, Emirates.

Smooth sailing

The company carried 1,26,000 tonnes of outbound cargo from India in the 2010-11 financial year, a 14 per cent growth from the year ago. Mr Patel added that the air cargo business is doing well in India as both imports and exports have picked up.

“About a decade ago, air cargo industry in India was suffering from directional imbalance, which meant exports were high but imports were lower. This meant that flights came in empty to carry out the exports. But in the past 2-3 years there is a balance that has come in,” he said.

Emirates' strategy to tap into the smaller cities includes having offline offices in Tier-II and Tier-III cities.

These offices do not have a customs clearance facility and thus, goods from these stations need to be transferred to Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai for export.

The airline has also signed an interline agreement with Fly Dubai, wherein Emirates uses the belly space on the flights operated by Fly Dubai to transport cargo.

“These agreements are win-win for both parties. We also have such agreements with airlines that do not fly into India to transport their cargo,” said Mr Patel.

Emirates runs only one scheduled freighter service at present apart from ad hoc chartered freighters.

“The capacity we have at the moment is adequate to meet the demand,” said Mr Patel.

Published on August 17, 2011

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