Domestic cargo airlines in India should be allowed to offer services to other countries to create a level playing field with international cargo operators, a Press Trust of India (PTI) report said quoting an Express Industry Council of India (EICI) official.
"While the domestic express industry is seeing a healthy growth, we want more cargo airlines to operate in the market. Re-evaluation of the policy to allow them to offer international operations
will not only bring more operators but give us a level playing field with respect to international cargo operators," the COO of Express Industry Council of India, Vijay Kumar, said. At present,
the notable player in India's domestic express industry is Blue Dart Express.
The report said the domestic express industry, one of the fastest growing markets globally with an annual growth rate of 15%, has become a Rs 22,000 crore (US$3.4b) industry.
Still high bureaucratic hurdles
However, the report said regulations continue to hamper growth of India's express industry. For instance, regulations stipulate that lease periods are limited to 10 years. But express operators contend that since they need to make significant investments to develop infrastructure, these lease term should be increased to 30 years.
Other issues such as delay in customs approval to operate facilities and insufficient number of security staff to man cargo terminals, are also mentioned in the EICI report. As for the latter, the express industry is seeking a policy change to allow foreign cargo airlines to self-handle security functions and obtain regulated agent certification.
This would facilitate ease of doing business for the express cargo airlines and lead to the further development of the infrastructure and air express segment, the report said.
Nol van Fenema