Budget carrier SpiceJet on Thursday commenced its dedicated freighter services to Leh with the launch of its maiden flight to the largest town of Ladakh from Delhi, carrying 13 tonnes of cargo supplies.
The launch of the dedicated freighter services to Leh, the first by any domestic airlines, will boost connectivity to the area, SpiceJet said in a release.
It will also address the challenges of surface transportation, owing to bad weather conditions in the winters, the airline added.
SpiceJet’s first freighter flight SG 7370 departed from Delhi at 9.05 am on Thursday and reached Leh at 10.40 am.
The airline’s first scheduled cargo flight from Leh departed at 11.25 am, the airline said in the release.
"SpiceJet is proud to launch the country’s first dedicated cargo flights connecting Leh with the national capital and the rest of the country,” said Ajay Singh, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director.
He added that it is significant considering the extreme weather conditions during winter months when temperatures fall below sub-zero levels there, hampering the movement of essential supplies and cargo for the local populace and administration in Leh.
SpiceJet’s freighter services to Leh will ensure seamless and timely transportation of essential supplies to the area throughout the winters, he added.
SpiceXpress, the dedicated cargo arm of SpiceJet, will deploy its Boeing 737 freighter on this route, it said in the release.
With the launch of the cargo services, SpiceJet is the first and only airline to have dedicated freighter flights connecting Leh, it said.
The dedicated cargo flights will help transport fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, perishables, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, and other general cargo.
Besides improving logistics and connectivity, the new freighter service will ensure that transportation of these essential commodities remains unaffected due to dipping temperatures and adverse weather conditions during these winter months, it said.
SpiceJet operates a fleet of 17 cargo aircraft, including three wide-body planes, and is the only Indian carrier to operate long-haul non-stop cargo flights to Europe, Africa and Commonwealth of Independent States countries.