SpiceJet has doubled the frequency of its scheduled freighter flights to Kunming and Wuhan in China from two to four per week. The increase in flights came into effect last week ahead of the festive season which sees import of mobile phones and electronic goods from China and comes in the backdrop of disruption at Shanghai airport.
The disruption caused due to Covid-19 cases among the airport staff at Shanghai has led to cancellation of flights and restriction on loads. Air freight charges have gone up too and shippers are exploring trucking of export goods from Shanghai to alternate airports in China for onward carriage.
“China is an important market for SpiceXpress and we have increased our frequency to Wuhan and Kunming,” an airline spokesperson said.
The non operation of passenger flights between India and China has already led to curtailment of capacity, said Bharat J Thakkar, past president of Air Cargo Agents Association of India. Shippers and importers are looking at alternate routes and some are even flying via Hong Kong as carriers are not accepting shipments for Shanghai, he added.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, however, said it is not seeing a significant impact on its flights. “Cathay Pacific has resumed most of its freighter services to and from Shanghai airport this week. Our passenger services between Hong Kong and Shanghai continue to operate as scheduled. From India, our cargo operations are largely unaffected. We continue to operate weekly freighters and cargo-only-passenger flights and remain agile to scale our operations based on the given demand,” the airline said.