Caption: SpiceJet operates 10,000 Cargo Flights Since Lockdown
SpiceJet has operated nearly 10,000 cargo flights since March, when India first went into lockdown. The airline has taken full advantage of its dedicated cargo fleet in this time, filling up the cargo capacity gap due to a lack of passenger flights. SpiceJet has also wet leased a converted Airbus A340 to increase capacity and fly long-haul cargo routes.
A bulk of global freight is flown in the belly of passenger aircraft, accounting for nearly 65% of the market pre-COVID. However, India’s decision to ban all domestic flights in late March suddenly left the market with a dire shortage of cargo capacity. With most passenger planes on the ground, SpiceJet made full use of this shortage.
SpiceJet is the only Indian passenger airline with a dedicated fleet of cargo aircraft. This fleet consists of five 737BCFs (Boeing Converted Freighters), three converted Q400Fs, and one wet-leased A340, according to Planespotters.net. This fleet has allowed it to carry out substantial cargo operations while other airlines were left flying a handful of cargo-on-seat flights.