Blue Dart to replace Boeing 737 with 757

News Clip : Today's Traveller New Wire, Mumbai

22nd April, 2008.

Blue Dart Aviation has plans to replace all its four ageing Boeing 737 cargo aircraft with the Boeing 757. The move is primarily aimed at enhancing carrying capacity without increasing the current fleet size of seven because of lack of parking space at airports. The company intends to have a mix of leased and owned 757-200 SF (special freighters). The replacement will help the company increase its carrying capacity by 32 per cent, from 148 tonnes to 196 tonnes by the end of 2011. A Boeing 737 carries 16 tonnes of freight whereas a 757 can carry up to 28 tonnes. Last year, the Chennai-based air cargo company had inducted a 757 freight carrier, which was its seventh, from DHL Expresses' European Air Transport.

Priced at around $85 million dollars, the BSE-listed company will raise the entire amount through internal accruals. It posted a growth of 21 per cent in gross revenues, at Rs 811 crore, during the year ended 31 December, as compared with Rs 668 crore in the previous year.

Blue Dart is working closely with parent DHL Global Aviation group to check if its aircraft can be leveraged for international operation. The company is optimistic about starting scheduled overseas operations, perhaps this year, in countries bordering India as well as in the Southeast. Company executives said the move would help improving aircraft utilisation due to increased flying hours.

Blue Dart, the only jet express airline in India, is currently the leader in the domestic market, specialising in time-definite scheduled freight services for overnight next day delivery of express and cargo loads.

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