Monday, January 18, 2021

Air cargo rising, but UK flight ban hits exports

Panaji: Cargo movement at Goa International Airport continued to show a steady rise in December with the airport handling 576 tonnes of freight. Domestic cargo in December stood at 509 tonne, while international freight stood at 67 tonne.

Exports to England stopped once the Centre banned flights to the UK during mid-December because of a new Covid-19 strain.

Goa used to export perishable items such as fruits and vegetables to the UK on Goa London weekly flights, according to information shared by the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Domestic cargo included electrical machinery and pharmaceuticals.

CONCOR stopped handling cargo operations in March 2020 and the responsibility for import and export of cargo through Goa International Airport is being handled by AAI’s subsidiary, AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services (AAICLAS).

“Regardless of the prevailing Covid 19 situation, AAI’s Goa airport handled 162 tonnes of freight in July 2020, while the highest in December is 576 tonnes. With the dedication of AAI staff, Goa Airport aims to continue to keep on delivering,” said AAI in a tweet.

Goa airport director Gagan Malik said that for domestic cargo operations, the major destinations are Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.

“The commodities are engineering goods, machinery parts, electrical goods and pharmaceuticals,” Malik said.

Goan exporters, particularly from the pharmaceutical sector and manufacturing sector, say that the lack of regular cargo flights to international destinations forces companies to export via Mumbai, Bengaluru and other major hubs.

18/01/21 Times of India

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