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Blue Dart inducts two Boeing 757-200 freighters

Open Sky Bureau  |  Mumbai 

Country's largest air express can carry livestock.
The tossed a triple scoring dart, right near the bull's eye of cargo aviation industry, as it announced the induction of two Boeing 757-200 freighters into its air express fleet.
This move will enhance availability of higher aircraft volumes and payload, as well as charter options for India's largest air express, courier and package distribution company with a dedicated freighter carrier.
A versatile aircraft with a speed range of 150 kmph to 5,000 kmph, and with twice the size of the Boeing 737 converted freighters in use now, Blue Dart has kept its long haul ambitions also in mind with this induction.
Malcolm Monteiro, managing director, Blue Dart Express Ltd said, "Our teams are looking into which routes will prove to be viable."
The 757-737 fleet of Blue Dart can now handle about 250 tonnes per night - an increase of 84 tonnes. The aircraft were acquired on lease from European Air Transport Services.
Blue Dart has an agreement with European Air Transport Services, in which the former can use the latter's aircraft for dedicated domestic air services.
The route network has also been fortified with an additional 21 routes added to the existing 39, making it 60 routes in total operating across five metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore and the sub metro cities of Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
The new aircraft have temperature controls and this will enable the company to carry livestock - something it cannot do now.
A derivative of the twin-engine passenger jetliner, the Boeing 757-200 has a two-person flight deck and is designed to accept up to 15 pallets with a standard size of 88 inches by 125 inches with a payload of 28 tonnes on its main deck, and additional freight in its lower holds.
A large side cargo door in the forward fuselage, a single crew entry door just ahead of it, and a windowless freighter interior with 6,600 cubic feet of cargo space on the main deck are the main utilities of the new freighters.
"The business model is at present based on domestic requirements and the 757s were inducted to augment our present express services', said Monteiro.
With Ahmedabad also finding a spot on the Blue dart map, the Gujarat markets will benefit. Blue Dart currently operates an average load factor of 88 per cent in the domestic cargo services. He also expects the cargo business to grow substantially with the implementation of VAT.
"VAT will put an end to inter-state duties and that will open the markets considerably, he said."
Expecting an increased network capacity by 50%, the company has also integrated their infrastructure to pad up their services. The company offers delivery of consignments to over 14,000 locations in India and 220 countries worldwide.

First Published: Wed, May 31 2006. 00:00 IST