Monday, September 07, 2015

Madurai airport loses out on international cargo business

Madurai:  Having attained international connectivity after a long struggle, Madurai Airport now awaits clearance for international cargo lifting. In spite of the enormous potential of the airport, exporters in the region have to look towards Trichy and Thiruvananthapuram airports to send their consignments to foreign destinations.

Renovated with state-of-the-art facilities in 2010, Madurai Airport got international connectivity in September, 2012 after Spicejet began operating flights to Colombo. Sri Lanka's domestic airliner, Mihin Lanka, followed suite and began to operate flights between Madurai and Colombo in December, 2012. Later in 2013, Spicejet started a service to Dubai.

However, the airport still limps without international cargo lifting, though the airport was announced as a 'customs airport' in May, 2013 after trade and industrial forums staged a mass demonstration in front of the airport.

"Though the airport was cleared to handle international cargo with customs status, there is inordinate delay in commencing cargo lifting. The authorities keep giving one reason or the other," said senior president of Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, S Rethinavelu.
07/09/15 J Arockiaraj/Times of India
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