Agents: Top pri­or­ity for Air In­dia cargo

The na­tional car­rier’s cargo di­vi­sion un­der­stands the im­por­tance of agents and has been tak­ing steps to en­sure that con­duct­ing busi­ness with Air In­dia is easy for them.

Cargo Talk - - Aviation - HAZEL JAIN

Ab­hay Pathak, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor (Com­mer­cial) Cargo Di­vi­sion, Air In­dia, who was pre­sid­ing over Air In­dia’s cargo di­vi­sion re­cently or­gan­ised event for its top agents – both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional – in Mum­bai, said to the agents, “Your sup­port is very pre­cious to us. We have brought about a par­a­digm shift at Air In­dia. When I took over cargo it was run in a very tra­di­tional way. That is when I started in­tro­duc­ing new ideas into the sys­tem and even my team was not very com­fort­able with them at first.” NEW TEL AVIV FLIGHT Air In­dia has been in­creas­ing its num­ber of sec­tors to Euro­pean coun­tries. The last one it added was Copen­hagen and Stock­holm. “We are now go­ing to start Tel Aviv which will start from third week of March some­where around the 20th as we now have re­ceived per­mis­sion to fly over Saudi Arabia airspace. It will be op­er­ated on our 787. Tel Aviv is one of the best sec­tors for us and it will link our coun­try with one of the strong­est coun­tries in the world. Both sides have great po­ten­tial as far as cargo is con­cerned,” Pathak added. FREE DE­LIV­ERY FROM WASH­ING­TON Most of the Amer­i­can sec­tors for Air In­dia cargo are do­ing ex­tremely well. In fact, Pathak said, Air In­dia has in­tro­duced an in­no­va­tive con­cept for the agents. “We have de­signed a new con­cept where when­ever JFK is over­flow­ing, we can shift the cargo on the IAT that is Wash­ing­ton. From there, we can take by road to JFK. Not only that, we will also do de­liv­ery at the ship­per’s ware­house. That’s another ad­van­tage with Air In­dia. The prod­uct is reach­ing their doorstep. We have started a new era and as a re­sult, even the Euro­pean sec­tors have a back­log. We are also sell­ing at a very high price be­cause that’s the way the mar­ket is turn­ing around now,” Pathak re­veals. GREAT CON­NEC­TIONS Air In­dia has great con­nec­tions in Europe – Rome, Mi­lan, Aus­tralia, Syd­ney, Mel­bourne, Stock­holm, Copen­hagen, Madrid, five flights to Lon­don, Paris and Frank­furt. Add to this, five des­ti­na­tions in the USA, and it gives an ad­van­tage to any ship­per. As a re­sult, Air In­dia’s in­ter­na­tional cargo is do­ing bet­ter than its do­mes­tic. Speak­ing about this, Pathak adds, “Growth for the do­mes­tic cargo in terms of ton­nage is much higher. But the com­pe­ti­tion among the air­lines in the do­mes­tic mar­ket is chop­ping each other. The rev­enue is not in synch with the vol­ume. So the yield is not too high vis-à-vis the ton­nage it has grown. It is the other way round in the in­ter­na­tional mar­ket. Ton­nage has not gone up too much but the rev­enue has gone up man­i­fold. We are scor­ing al­most 70 per cent growth in terms of rev­enue.”

Air In­dia is is look­ing for a freighter but the de­ci­sion rests on the gov­ern­ment. “We are also work­ing out on how we can go for a GSA for the do­mes­tic and the in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. If that hap­pens, it will be a great ad­van­tage for us. We now have the new 777s. With that we will be able to now go for more flights spe­cially long-haul which can carry ad­di­tional cargo load from here,” Pathak re­vealed. AGENTS FIRST Speak­ing about how Air In­dia has upped its fo­cus on its agents, he said that the air­line has been re­ceiv­ing a lot of in­puts from its agents which has led to it in­tro­duc­ing a lot of changes in the sys­tem. “In the last one and half years, I have brought in a lot of changes to make do­ing busi­ness easy. It needs to be smooth, and you have to en­sure that not only the prod­uct side but also the pric­ing and poli­cies should be such that it helps and wel­comes the agents. At the end of the day, it is the profit that is im­por­tant. We have to sort out our prob­lems and show­case our prod­ucts to them in a bet­ter way. In one and a half or two years we have re­ally done that in such an ef­fec­tive man­ner that they have started be­liev­ing that if you ship with Air In­dia their cargo will reach its des­ti­na­tion within seven to eight hours,” Pathak adds.

Ab­hay Pathak Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor (Com­mer­cial) Cargo Di­vi­sion Air In­dia The air­line has been re­ceiv­ing in­puts from its agents which has led to it in­tro­duc­ing a lot of change

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.