There’s been plenty of good news from the Indian subcontinent of late, with a 50-tonne uplift out of Mumbai breaking single flight records, and in August, IAG Cargo’s 200th cargo-only flight out of India since May. And it’s true that throughout lockdown, the region has excelled, on-boarding new business and finding solutions for customers shipping a wide range of goods, from Covid-19 treatments to mangoes, of which India is the world’s largest producer.
In May, teams responded to surging demand by instating four cargo-only flights out of Mumbai, transporting huge flows of pharmaceuticals and mangoes, during the peak of the India’s harvest. As demand swelled, IAG Cargo added flights out of Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore, boosting the number of flights to 23 cargo-only and passenger services. Chennai was also added so that by October 2020, the carrier was operating 30 services out of the country.
“We listened to customers about their capacity needs,” says Ankush Chawla, Area Commercial Manager for South Asia at IAG Cargo. “Many wanted more flights from Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, which we delivered on. We also created internal solutions through our trucking networks so that cargo from Chennai could move easily through Bangalore. All of this happened without a single sales office open, with IAG Cargo staff working remotely from home.”
Much of this success can be attributed to IAG Cargo’s vast network and the diversity of the Indian market. Rob Wiemerink, Regional Commercial Manager Asia Pacific at IAG Cargo, adds “India isn’t just about pharma or general cargo, it’s also perishables such as mangoes – it’s a very diverse region in terms of its commodities. That’s where its strength lies, and as a network carrier, it allows us to ship across North America and Europe.”
The diversity of the market is certainly there. “We’ve carried everything under the sun,” says Chawla, “including a shipment of precious metals from Chennai to Zurich, polio vaccines from Hyderabad and Mumbai, and high fashion from Delhi, as well as our seasonal mango movements from Mumbai and Bangalore.
We also moved Critical consignments of Covid-19 antiviral drug Remdesivir from Hyderabad into Latin America, alongside vaccines for measles, hepatitis B, rabies and tuberculosis.”
As we approach Diwali, there’s never been a better time to shine a light on the successes of this crucial market to IAG Cargo and its partners.
“During this auspicious time of year, I extend my warmest greetings and good wishes to our business partners and their families in India,” says Rob Wiemerink. “May this festival bring happiness, good health and prosperity, and I thank you for your continued support in these difficult times.”
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