Air France-KLM to add capacity in cargo business in India

Tags: Air France, KLM, News
Air France-KLM group would soon add capacity in their cargo business in India, increasing the number of weekly freighter flights from Chennai and Mumbai by one and two respectively to Amsterdam and beyond.

The full freighter services from Mumbai would double from two to four from April one, while those from Chennai would increase from three to four.

"Air France, KLM and Martinair Cargo are doing this primarily in response to the needs of the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. We will also a launch a new cargo service to Brasilia from March 31," the group's Vice President (Asia and Middle East) Christophe Boucher told reporters here.

"Brazil and India are among the fastest growing 'pharmerging' groups, along with China, Mexico, Turkey, Korea and Russia," he said, adding that this group is expected to account for almost three quarters of world market growth.

He said the India flights would originate from Hong Kong, making them "a good and profitable combination" of cargo destinations. "We expect to see a good first quarter as we are offering the right rates for the right mix of cargo, not just pharma products."

The full freighter service would complement Air France- KLM's belly (cargo) capacity on passenger flights, Boucher said, adding that the airline group was in the process of acquiring more aircraft, including Boeing 787 Dreamliners which have good belly capacity.

Apart from getting cargo loads from its Indian destinations like Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad, it was also transporting cargo from places like Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Pune to Mumbai to fly them abroad.

Meanwhile, the airline group also announced that its economy passengers from India to the US, Canada and Mexico would be allowed two pieces of check-in baggage per person with maximum weight being 23 kg per baggage from April 17. Those travelling on Business Class would be able to carry two pieces of check-in baggage weighing up to 32 kgs.

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