Driven primarily by pharmaceutical traffic, India is proving to be a bright spot in the cargo sector for Cathay Pacific Airways with its current 25 freighter frequencies per week. The carrier has seen an eight per cent growth in cargo volumes in first nine months (January-September) of this year between Hong Kong and the six indian cities it serves with maindeck capacity.
The carrier provides freighter services from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The twice-a-week service between Kolkata and Hong Kong was launched in March last year.
“At this moment, we plan to optimise our network base in India and want to increase our frequency here,” Cathay Pacific’s general manager cargo sales and marketing Mark Sutch told Indian media outlet PTI. “We don’t have any immediate plan for a new route, but whenever we will see any opportunity in any Indian city, we will consider,” he added.
The carrier, which also has substantial passenger flights to India, expects to have cargo volume growth next year similar to that witnessed during January-September 2016.
Emphasising that India is a “very significant market” for Cathay Pacific, Sutch said it saw a “tremendous” growth of 187 per cent in terms of tonnage from the Kolkata market alone in 2015. Pharmaceutical is the main focus when it comes to cargo in the Indian market, he noted.