SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) is planning to expand its dedicated freighter fleet with a further five B737 freighters, the chief executive of cargo unit SpiceXpress, Sanjiv Gupta, said during a recent Cargo Facts Asia online conference.

Gupta did not provide any further information about the types or timeline for deliveries, other than saying that the carrier was "very much in the market" for the jets.

"E-commerce movement within India continues to be extremely strong for the two big giants, Walmart and Amazon.com, and we will continue to partner with them extremely strongly in their growth plans over the next couple of years," he added.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, SpiceJet currently operates three B737-700(BDSF)s and two B737-800(BCF)s. It also deploys five DHC-8-Q400s as makeshift freighters, in addition to wet-leasing an A340-300 from Hi Fly Malta for its cargo operations.

Gupta said that the airline was also contemplating "medium-range" dedicated freighters, although he underlined that conversion bottlenecks meant that this was not an immediate plan. He did not elaborate on potential aircraft types.

Besides SpiceJet, the only other operator of large freighter aircraft in India at present is Blue Dart Aviation (BZ, Chennai) with six B757-200(PCF)s. IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l) recently announced plans to expand into the cargo market with the addition of four A321-200(P2F)s, although deliveries will not start before the first half of 2022.

Gupta underlined that market potential could see India "easily absorb" another ten narrowbody freighters.