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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 21 No. 10
Monday March 7, 2022
Modair Express Extends India Reach
Varun Mittal

     Here's a question for you: How long does it take for a private jet company that offers a bespoke adventurous experience to air tourism enthusiasts to start an air cargo business? Well, India’s newest air cargo carrier Modair took around 20-odd years.
     Modair is part of Modish Tradex Pvt. Ltd. and has been in business for over 30 years. It has been providing a wide range of services to High Networth Individuals (HNI) and others: from helicopter services (usually most in demand during election campaigns), private jet bookings, helicopter services for religious pilgrimages (the Chardham Yatra that spans across Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram and one that every Hindu undertakes once in the lifetime).
     A 20-year-old Indian Director-General of Civil Aviation approved NSOP (Non Scheduled Operator Permit) holder, Modair recently set up its own technology-enabled air logistics unit known as Modair Express. It aims to connect the country’s Tier-II and Tier-III towns with key cities and ensure same-day deliveries.
     As Varun Mittal, CEO, Modair told ACNFT, “With the help of a small aircraft, we provide pan India air cargo connectivity from metro cities to Tier 4 cities.” He was candid when he pointed out that “no company is serious to initiate the air cargo process due to limited knowledge and links” and that is why he said it was “the right time to start our venture because our government is very supportive about cargo connectivity.”
     Having witnessed the demand for air cargo shipments over the last two years, Modair believes that connecting the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) industrial hubs from all over the country could be good business. Atul Jain, Chairman, Modair was clear when he said that the country's air cargo business was poised to take off in a big way with the fast-emerging need of transporting imported goods and medical equipment from one region to another as quickly as possible. He emphasized that “the growth of the 'value buying' segment has been quite encouraging for the air cargo segment.”
     CEO Mittal elaborated:  “Even today, there are many rural areas where we have to use roads to reach the place. For cargo transportation, we have to use roads. It is difficult for airlines to operate their Boeing, Airbus, ATR, Bombardier to the small airports and unmanned airstrips.
     “Modair has the expertise to utilize such small airstrips to operate midsize aircrafts to solve the connectivity problem as small planes do not require extensive landing space. With the help of this, transportation of goods can be done in 1-2hrs,” said Mittal.
     “As we know most of the Tier 2 areas in India are still untouched by air connectivity as well as air cargo connectivity. Many big industries are now shifting to small cities with low land cost and are working with very low expense staff. Cargo transportation to these industries is time-taking because they have to use roads to reach the place. These areas, however, are connected with small airstrips. Starting air cargo to these areas will reduce the time and it will save money. We are looking forward to carry 1-1.2 tonnes cargo in each flight.”
     Modair Express plans to offer a variety of products to cater to pan-India customers although its focus will be cargo solutions between Tier-I to Tier-II and Tier-III cities. The Modair management is well aware of the fact that the Tier-I to Tier-II and III cities face a paucity of dependable service providers. So, Modair has started adding small freighters to its aircraft fleet. These small planes will be equipped to handle, as Mittal put it, “two types of air cargo: general and special cargo. General cargo will include high-value goods, such as electronics, jewellery and pharmaceuticals.”
     Mittal mentioned that Modair was “initially planning for two aircraft for cargo. Within a time span of 6-8 months, we will be deploying 2 aircraft in each zone. This will make cargo connectivity easy.”
     Mittal and his team have chalked out plans to create a strong network that will not only attract e-commerce services that demand same-day deliveries but also connect export hubs and sub-hubs. These are initial days and Modair’s work is cut out. Will it be able to survive where a whole lot of Indian cargo carriers have failed? But then, the times are different. The pandemic has propped up the fortunes of air cargo and Modair hopes to reap the benefits.
T. Ghosh

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