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IAG Cargo open for partnerships with Indian carriers & logistics players

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NEW DELHI : Bullish on the growth prospects in India, IAG Cargo is open for partnerships with Indian carriers and logistics players as and when an opportunity comes up, a top official said on Wednesday.

The European entity, which represents the cargo business of five airlines, garners around 10 per cent of its global export revenues from India. IAG Cargo handles the air cargo business of British Airways, Iberia Cargo, Spanish carriers — Vueling and LEVEL — and Ireland’s Aer Lingus Cargo.

In an interview with PTI here, IAG Cargo’s Chief Executive Officer David Shepherd said it gets some of the highest load factors from the Indian market, which is seeing a massive growth in diverse industries, including pharmaceuticals and e-commerce.

To a query on whether IAG Group will be looking at partnerships with Indian carriers and logistics players, he said, ”certainly, if an opportunity comes up, we will work with a carrier or a logistic provider on the ground…”.

IAG Cargo is also looking to add more cargo capacity.

Elaborating on the strong performance of the Indian market in terms of cargo business, Shepherd mentioned factors such as fast growth, diversity of export mix, burgeoning middle class economy and strong local customer base of Indian businesses.

He hoped that frequencies of services would increase with the new air services agreement being negotiated between India and the UK.

Currently, it has 112 weekly flights between India and the UK.

”We don’t own a cargo aircraft. We are talking about putting cargo onto passenger aircraft… We work very closely with British Airways,” Shepherd said, adding that a change to larger aircraft like A350 than the current B787 planes will help in adding additional capacity.

When asked whether IAG Cargo has plans to buy freighters, he replied that there is no intention at this point of time for freighters.

India witnessed an air cargo volume, including exports and imports, of 3.15 million tonnes in the 2022-23 financial year.

Shepherd said that he is ”cautiously optimistic” about the air cargo segment for 2024.

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