Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has announced plans to launch a dedicated international cargo airline – Air Kerala – which will operate services to West Asian destinations. CIAL managing director, S Bharath said: "The project will supplement our proposed state-of-the-art centre for perishable cargo, which can handle 40,000 tonnes per year.
With this centre and freighter service, we can facilitate the export and import of perishable cargoes such as vegetables, fruits, fl owers, fi sh and meat products to different parts of the country and the world, including West Asia." CIAL is currently in talks with undisclosed international and domestic partners to launch the freighter service. The airport is also reportedly in discussions with Indian Airlines to convert old passenger planes into full freighters.
Air India last month confi rmed plans to launch a subsidiary, Air India Cargo, which will operate two converted A310 freighters, while it will convert up to seven B737-200s and six additional A310s for freighter operations. Another Indian all cargo airline, Flyington Freighters, last month confi rmed an order for six more A330-200Fs, for a total of 12.