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IndiGo initiates freighter programme; plans to convert 4 A321 aircraft

April 23, 2021: The Indian carrier IndiGo has initiated a freighter programme and is in the process of sourcing 4 Airbus A321ceo aircraft each of which will be converted from passenger jets to a full freighter configuration.

A letter of Intent has been signed with a lessor for two aircraft already, and IndiGo expects to reach an agreement for the next two shortly.
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A letter of Intent has been signed with a lessor for two aircraft already, and IndiGo expects to reach an agreement for the next two shortly.

April 23, 2021: The Indian carrier IndiGo has initiated a freighter programme and is in the process of sourcing 4 Airbus A321ceo aircraft each of which will be converted from passenger jets to a full freighter configuration.

A letter of intent has been signed with a lessor for two aircraft already, and IndiGo expects to reach an agreement for the next two shortly.

“The initiative will make the best use of the natural synergies that IndiGo offers, using the same pool of pilots and engineers that fly and service its current fleet. The A321P2F (Passenger-to-Freighter conversion) is the most efficient narrow-bodied freighter available, offering 24 container positions and supporting a payload of up to 27 tonnes, reads the release.

These are being converted through a programme involving ST Engineering and Airbus with their joint venture, Elbe FlugzeugWerke (EFW).

Also read: Cargo getting a top priority at IndiGo

IndiGo is expected to take the delivery of its first freighter in the first half of 2022, which will be used for both domestic and regional missions. The remaining three aircraft in the initial commitment are expected to arrive within a year or so from the arrival of our first freighter, and further aircraft may be sourced depending on market development.

Ronojoy Dutta, chief executive officer and whole-time director, IndiGo said, “CarGo has been a success story over the last year, scaling new heights and creating new records, but our belief in the cargo business goes beyond the special circumstances right now. IndiGo was already the largest carrier of cargo in domestic India before Covid-19, and we expect the market to continue to grow after the pandemic. Our investment in the Airbus Freighter Programme will help strengthen our product and services in the segment, and not only help accelerate our own business recovery but also be a strong engine of economic growth for the country.”

With its fleet of 280+ aircraft, the airline is operating around 1200 daily flights and connecting 66 domestic destinations and 24 international destinations.

William Boulter, COO, IndiGo talks to STAT Media about its cargo operations in 2019

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