Budget carrier SpiceJet has operated its maiden long-haul cargo flight with a widebody Airbus A340 freighter aircraft to the city from the Dutch capital Amsterdam, making it the first and only Indian carrier to operate non-stop cargo services from Europe on a dedicated freighter.
The Gurugram-based airline, in a release on Saturday, also said that the same A340 cargo plan will perform its next flight to Sudan from Mumbai on Sunday.
SpiceJet has a dedicated fleet of nine freighter aircraft consisting of five Boeing 737s, three Bombardier Q-400s and one Airbus A340.
“SpiceJet operated its first-ever long-haul cargo flight from Amsterdam to Mumbai using its wide-body Airbus A340 aircraft on Saturday. The flight, operated by a widebody A340 freighter, departed from the Dutch capital at 10.50 PM (local time) on August 21, and reached Mumbai at 10.54 AM (local time) on Sunday, carrying over 14 tonnes of cargo to the city,” the release said.
The aircraft will now operate from Mumbai to Khartoum in Sudan on Sunday with 40 tonnes of cargo, the airline said, adding that SpiceJet has transported over 31,800 tonnes of cargo since nationwide lockdown began in late March.
“Today is a proud moment, we successfully operated our first wide-body long-haul flight from Europe. The induction of our first Airbus A340 cargo aircraft has significantly enhanced our operational capability and will allow us to operate non-stop cargo services across the globe to destinations in Europe, Africa and CIS countries,” said Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJet, said.
The airline also said it has operated over 5,764 cargo flights and transported over 31,800 tonnes of cargo, carrying medicines and medical equipment and fruits and vegetables to all corners of India and the world since March 25.
SpiceJet's international cargo network now spans over 42 international destinations that include Amsterdam, Rome, Abu Dhabi, Baghdad, Bahrain, Bangkok, Cairo, Colombo, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Guangzhou, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kabul, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kyrgyzstan, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, Male, Myanmar, Shanghai, Singapore, Sharjah,, Tashkent, Ukraine, among others.