The ranks of India's cargo airlines are set to expand with cargo company Afcom (Chennai) inching towards certification to operate its own aircraft. The established business has been telling Indian media that certification could come through as soon as October and is in possession of a freshly arrived B737-800(BCF) with another two scheduled to land before the year's end. ch-aviation was unable to verify the identity of the aircraft.

"This aircraft will support Afcom’s current capacity with its airfreight partners, thus enabling a faster and more reliable delivery service,” Afcom chairman Deepak Parasuraman told Indian media last week. "The company plans to add two more freighter aircraft to its fleet by the end of the year. Air cargo is today a key enabler of flexibility and speed in global supply chains. We foresee good and rising demand for air cargo and we are fully geared up to infuse the required capacity in the market.”

The company ships around 250 tonnes of cargo a month using airfreight partners but acquiring its own planes will allow Afcom to uplift around 1,250 tonnes a month. Via their partners, Afcom now serves Singapore, Indonesia, and Brunei but the cargo carrier intends to start flights to Hanoi Noi Bai International and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi once they are cleared to fly their own planes.

According to the ch-aviation PRO airlines module, there is only one other dedicated cargo airline operating out of India - Blue Dart Aviation (BZ, Chennai), while Quikjet Airlines (QO, Bengaluru International) is restarting and a further six would-be cargo airlines are working to transition from the business plan stage to the operating airline stage.

Meanwhile, several significant senior management changes have just occurred at Afcom. Kochat Narendran has taken on the chief commercial officer's role; Anish David has become the chief sales officer. Sankarampadi Nadathur (S.N.) Ashok is the new general manager of cargo operations, and P. K. Raghunathan is appointed to the chief operating officer's position.