Korean Air will launch freighter flights between Seoul’s Incheon International Airport and Delhi International Airport in Northern India from 17 July.

The carrier currently operates direct belly lights from Incheon to Mumbai and Delhi, each three and five times a week.

The decision to introduce the cargo flight accompanies the South Korean government’s new diplomatic strategy to strengthen partnership with India, and rapid growth of the Indian market.

Korean Air will operate its Boeing 777F three times a week (Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday). The aircraft has a payload of more than 100 tonnes.

The flight will depart at 23:10h from Incheon, make a stop at Hanoi and arrive at Delhi at 06:15h the next day (all local times). From Delhi to Incheon, there will be two stops at Vienna, Austria and Milan, Italy.

A Korean Air spokesperson said: “Demand for air cargo from Asia to India has shown a sharp boost recently; an average of 6.5% annual increase in the last three years.

“We are anticipating new demand and improved profitability through optimized cargo routes.”

Korean Air celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. The airline will be using its next-generation freighters such as Boeing 777F and Boeing 747-8F, as well as its new air cargo system ‘iCargo’ to improve customer service.