Air India said it will launch its all freighter operations this month. The first all freighter aircraft, converted from an A 310 passenger aircraft will be deployed on the Kerala-Gulf sector.
Air India, which in the early 1990s had an air cargo market share of 30 percent, is planning to regain its market share from this operation. In the next three years it is planning to a have a fleet of 10 to 12 freighters having services to the Gulf, the US and Far East markets. Apart from own converted aircraft, additional capacities would be leased in the future, Air India officials said.
Meanwhile, India’s Minister of Civil Aviation Praful Patel announced that Air India will be the name of the new state-owned airline resulting from the merger of the old Air India and Indian Airlines.
He added that the new company will have its registered office in New Delhi, its corporate office in Mumbai and headquarters for domestic operations and most strategic business units in Delhi. “As Air India is a globally and nationally recognized brand name, as well as the designated airline in international bilaterals. . .it has been decided that the merged entity would continue with the same name,” the ministry said.
The logo and livery for the airline will adopt elements from both constituent carriers. Combining the deep red of AI and the orange of IC, the new Air India will operate white aircraft with red and orange highlights on the fuselage, a red belly and an orange Konark Chakra wheel graphic on a red vertical stabilizer and red nacelles. Patel said the merged company will start operating in July with an IPO planned for next year, according to press reports.