Cargo start-up Flyington Freighters aims to grow to a 30-strong fleet after becoming the first Indian carrier to commit to taking widebody freighters, writes Graham Dunn.

At the Farnborough air show last month, the new privately held carrier, owned by investors related to media company Deccan Chronicle, signed for four Boeing 777 Freighters - subject to the airline obtaining statutory clearances.

Flyington Freighters will operate international cargo flights from its Hyderabad base and in particular is aiming to tap into the market for cargo between India and China.

Managing director Deepak Parasuraman says: "We look forward to commencing our international cargo airline operations later this year and have earmarked an initial capital outlay of $50 million for the first year. We have deep inroads into these markets and have a very experienced and efficient core team to make this a very successful airline."

The carrier hopes to launch late this year and to start fully fledged operations by March/April next year. But as the 777 freighters will not be delivered until 2009, the carrier will start with leased aircraft. It hopes to seal an agreement in the next month or so, and is looking at Boeing MD-11 or Airbus A300 freighters.

Source: Flight International