India Post to induct more freighter aircraft to boost services

July 16th, 2008 - 1:15 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sanjay Singh
New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Faced with stiff competition from private courier services, India Post plans to induct four more freighter aircraft by the year-end to beef up speed post services to almost 15 major cities, a senior official said. The department is in talks with the government to ensure the leased aircraft could be pressed into service by the year-end, India Post chief general manager (operations) M.S. Bali told IANS.

India Post launched its first aircraft Aug 29 last year, with the service dedicated to the seven northeast states, and Guwahati as the centre. The aircraft, with a 15-tonne load capacity, carries Speed Post, mail and parcels to various destinations in the north-eastern states.

“We are still negotiating with Air India for leasing four of its aircraft in the Boeing series. If for some reason or other the deal with Air India does not come through, then we will knock on the doors of other leasing agencies,” Bali said.

When contacted, Air India spokesperson Jitendra Bhargava confirmed that it has received a proposal from the government for leasing aircraft to India Post.

“We are looking at it. If the deal is through, we will deploy our cargo aircraft for postal services as well as cargo services,” said the Air India official.

According to postal officials, it requires air services between late night and early morning. “The India Post will require our air services for six to eight hours a day. For the rest of the day our aircraft can be used for cargo operations,” explained an AI official.

Air India offers seven Boeing aircraft for leasing purposes.

The new postal air service will benefit all agencies and sectors associated with mail, express, parcels and logistics.

Postal officials are hopeful that the entire process will be completed by December-end. The cities where the new aircraft service will be deployed include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

The postal department expects to increase the quantum of mail by over 30 percent with the help of the air services. As of now, courier companies such as DHL, Blue Dart, Elbee and Skypak are fast expanding their infrastructure and markets both within and outside India.

“But we are really not worried about it. Once the aircraft are pressed into service, our efficiency and mail services will improve. We will have the most reliable services. We also plan to connect our flight destinations with road services,” said Bali.

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