Friday, February 07, 2020

Indian carriers may launch dedicated agri cargo services to Gulf region

Indian budget carrier SpiceJet is considering commencing cargo flights for agri products to Dubai and other major cities in the Middle East under a new scheme – ‘Krishi Udaan (farm flights) – proposed in the Indian Union Budget 2020.

Under the proposed ‘Krishi Udaan’ scheme, India’s civil aviation ministry is to introduce a subsidised scheme for farmers to export their produce internationally.

“We are excited about the scheme and will seriously consider cargo operations under it to places such as Dubai,” SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh has said.
Aviation industry sources said IndiGo, another Indian budget airline is also likely to launch cargo services for agri products under the scheme to the Gulf region.
Industry sources said the Gulf region will be among the focus areas for Indian carriers for the cargo services under the ‘Krishi Udaan” scheme because of the large presence of expat Indians there.

The industry expects the demand for Indian agri produces – vegetables, fruits and other farm produces - to witness significant growth if their prices come down due to the subsidised transportation scheme.

Government sources said the civil aviation ministry is currently in the process of working out the modalities and details of the ‘Krishi Udaan’ scheme and that it may take some time before the scheme is rolled out.

​SpiceJet, which has a separate freighter service – SpiceXpress – already operates agri products-focussed cargo services to Hong Kong from Guwahati- the capital of the northeast Indian state of Assam.
06/02/20 James Mathew/Arabian Business

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