Four Indian nationals will next month launch Crescent Air Cargo, India's second dedicated cargo airline.

"We have got licences, including an import licence, but the air operator's certificate [AOC] is only given after the first aircraft is registered in India," says Chennai-based Crescent Air Cargo joint managing director Deepak Parasuraman.

He says that Crescent has signed a contract with an undisclosed aircraft agent in the UK for the purchase of three Fokker F27s.

"Based on the routes we are going to operate, the Fokker F27 is economical [and] there is already a high amount of skilled Fokker pilots and engineers."

Parasuraman says the new airline hopes to take delivery of the aircraft in early April in time for the launch on 14 April of all-cargo services between some of India's major cities: Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. It also plans to operate the F27s to the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Blue Dart Aviation is currently India's sole cargo airline.

Source: Flight International