Amritsar

Cargo flights to export vegetables to restart from Amritsar to Middle-East

A meeting held between officials of the AAI, various airlines, farmers and exporters on August 29 unanimously agreed to restart the cargo flights which had been stalled since May 2014.

The Hush Post: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to restart cargo flights for exporting vegetables from Amritsar Airport to the Middle-East countries.  A meeting held between officials of the AAI, various airlines, farmers and exporters on August 29 unanimously agreed to restart the cargo flights which had been stalled since May 2014. In the meeting which lasted for more than two hours, it was decided that the AAI will soon appoint its nodal officer in Amritsar who will interact with the farmers, industrialists and exporters and resolve their issues.

The decision will benefit Punjab as earlier around 900 tons of vegetables used to be exported to the gulf nations, but the cargo flights were stalled after May 29, 2014 as most of the airlines plying on this route were discontinued.

According to Kiku Gajedhar, CEO of AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Compnay (AAICLAS, a subsidiary of the AAI, civil aviation secretary had recently visited Amritsar and had discussed the probabilities of restarting cargo flights with the Punjab chief secretary Karan Avtar Singh. Ever since several rounds of meetings have taken in this direction, he said.

It is to be noted that there is a huge demand of baby corn, green peas, lady finger, green chilies, mangoes, coriander and bitter gourd in the Middle-East. During 2009-10 alone, 908.11 metric tons of fruits and vegetables were exported via Amritsar. The demand for the aforementioned products is the maximum in UK where flights have already been stalled.

During the meeting held on August 29 representatives of Air India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Scott Air, Spice Jet, Qatar Air and Malind Air showed interest in restarting their cargo flights.  Barring vegetables products like ready-made garments, engineering tools, sports articles, sanitary and leather products etc. are already being exported from Amritsar.

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