Thursday, October 08, 2020

Air cargo biz seen recovering as exports rise, freight services increase

Mumbai: Air cargo business is showing signs of recovery with a rise in exports and addition of freighter services at major airports.

The cargo handled at Bengaluru airport registered a year on year growth in September - the first time since the imposition of lockdown in March. Delhi and Hyderabad airports handled 93 and 90 per cent of of the levels handled in September 2019, respectively, last month.

"September has been very positive for us as we processed 32,449 metric tonnes of cargo which is 85 metric tonnes or 0.26 per cent higher than September 2019 tonnage signalling an encouraging trend," said Hari Marar, managing director of Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL).

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, around 80 per cent of domestic and international freight was being carried in belly space of passenger aircraft and the remainder in freighters. Thus, with the reduction in passenger flights, air freight handled on all India basis declined 45 per cent during April-September on a year on year basis. Bengaluru airport has been able to register positive growth during this period led by a 139 per cent increase in freighter movements in September. Additionally, airlines also began carrying cargo in passenger cabins and this contributed to volume growth.

Perishable cargo has been one of the growth drivers and Bengaluru has become the leading centre for pomegranate exports. The introduction of road feeder service to connect cities like Tirupur, Coimbatore, Salem among others has also helped the airport to improve its cargo volume.

Mumbai airport handled 51,977 tonnes of cargo in September which was 18 per cent higher over the August figure. The September volume was 86 per cent of January tonnage and 73 per cent of last September's figure. Recovery at Mumbai has been slower because of a cap on number of daily flights, but the airport expects a further increase with the introduction of new freighter flights and lifting of restrictions.

08/10/20 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment