Akasa Air is seeing consistent growth in its cargo business and its freight loads are higher than peers, the airline’s Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer, Praveen Iyer said on Friday.

“Cargo is one of the core sources of revenue for Akasa Air and we have witnessed a consistent uptick in the volume of our cargo delivery. Since our inception in August 2022, we have established a strong presence in 20 cities across India carrying over 50,000 tonnes of cargo. Akasa Air is the second leading airline in cargo operations in Bengaluru now,” Iyer said.

Domestic air cargo business faces competition from surface transport and pricing pressure is also a concern. Iyer, however said the airline is doing better than the competition available.

“Since the launch of the services, Akasa Air is carrying close to one tonne cargo per flight, while the industry runs at an average of 600 to 650 kg,” he added.

From Bengaluru, which is Akasa’s biggest base, the loads are higher and it typically uplifts 1.3 - 1.4 tonnes of cargo . Competitive pricing and efficient service is also said to be a reason for Akasa’s consistent cargo volume.

The airline didn’t give reasons for better than industry freight loads. Akasa Air has a limited network and flies 110-120 flights a day to 20 destinations. Air India and IndiGo operate around 300 and 1,700 domestic flights daily. As such, their freight loads are spread over larger number of flights. Also certain destinations don’t have much cargo demand and that impacts loads of Air India and IndiGo.

Indian airports handled 1.09 million tonnes between April-January compared to 1.07 million tonnes in the same period last year. While domestic cargo increased by 1.6 per cent, international cargo handled rose by 6 per cent in the same period.

Later this month, Akasa Air will launch four weekly flights between Mumbai to Doha - its maiden international route.

“We are always looking at new opportunities to grow our business and international markets will be important for cargo business growth as well,” Iyer said.