New Delhi, Aug. 25 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL, 華航), one of the leading international carriers in Taiwan, said that it will resume cargo services to India amid optimism toward the fast-growing South Asian economy.
Partnering with India-based Ascent Air, CAL is scheduled to relaunch the cargo service in the Indian market, starting from Aug. 28, after the Taiwanese carrier suspended its cargo flights to India four years ago.
In an initial phase, the two partners will operate one round-trip flight a week, carrying cargo from East Asia to India and then to Europe, and in turn, delivering cargo from Europe to India and then back to Taipei, CAL said.
Lin Hsiao-feng (林曉峰), a manager with CAL's cargo operations division, who is currently in India to supervise the resumption of the cargo service, said that the first flight on Aug. 28 is full.
Lin said that CAL is upbeat about the economic outlook of India so the carrier is seeking more partnerships in the Indian market in a bid to expand the number of cargo flights in the second half of this year and serve more customers.
The CAL executive said that the Indian government's "Make in India" initiative has boosted the country's transportation industry as demand for delivery of equipment and resources to India and merchandise out of the country has been on the rise.
In addition to the optimism toward India's economic fundamentals, Lin said that CAL is following the Taiwan government's new southbound policy, which encourages Taiwanese investors to look toward Southeast Asia and India to reduce dependence on China.
According to a report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global cargo business is expected to hit 4.1 percent during the period of 2014-2018. India is expected to enjoy a 6.8 percent CAGR rate, making itself the second-fastest growing market in the world, the IATA report said.
Therefore, Lin said that it is good timing for CAL to return to the Indian market now.
Tien Chung-kwang (田中光), Taiwan's representative to India, said that the decision by CAL to resume cargo services to India showed a recognition of the economic potential of the South Asian country. Tien said that he hopes that more and more Taiwanese firms will consider the possibility of investing in India to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.