CARGOCONNECT-NOVEMBER 2020 - Flipbook - Page 60
As far as SpiceXpress is concerned, we are
now poised to take off. We have the unique
advantage of being a successful airline for the
last 15 years. We have the best combination of
passenger and cargo fleet and well positioned
to cater to the regional requirements including
Asia Pacific, Central and Southeast Asia, and
counts for more than 40 per cent of the total cost
and had been seeking government intervention.
During April, air cargo rates to move perishables from India to European destination had
spiked almost 200 percent from 80 rupees per
kg to 250 rupees per kg.
Airlines keep pointing out the reduction of
capacity due to grounding of passenger flights
and the imbalance in volume of cargo available
as reasons for different directions for the increasing freight rates.
While speaking at a recent web conference,
Vandana Aggarwal, Senior Economic Adviser,
Ministry of Civil Aviation, GoI said, “In September 2020, the Indian air cargo was operating
at 85 per cent of what it had in September 2019.”
“We used to have six freighter aircraft and
now we have 18 dedicated freighter aircraft moving around. The central government approved
150 passenger aircraft for cargo-on-seats operations. We had all the stakeholders coming together and fixing the glitches during the testing
times and we are working on to institutionalise
the same cooperation,” she added.
“From the Krishi Udan perspective, Chennai Airport did very well and showed a growth of 18 per cent
compared to last year. Varanasi, Lucknow, Patna, Mangalore,
Surat and Amristar also did very well in exports. But the
domestic movement is still struggling due to the high freight
rates,” Aggarwal informed.
In February 2020, India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced and Civil Aviation ministry launched
Krishi Udan and Marine Krishi Udan schemes in her Budget
2020 to help move perishable commodities though air cargo
in a subsidised manner on national and international routes.
The airport’s international air cargo terminal handled over 7,900 metric tonnes (MT)
of overseas freight by February this year itself thereby exceeding the target of 7,500 MT
set for 2019-20 financial year, according to
Airports Authority of India (AAI) statistics.
On an average, the Tiruchi international
air cargo terminal used to handle more than
550 MT overseas cargo every month during
FY2019-20. There have been occasions when
the figure exceeded 700 - 800 MT in certain
months during the fiscal, AAI said.
Perishables such as vegetables, fruits and
flowers continue to account for ninety-nine
per cent of the consignments lifted from Tiruchi airport which is surrounded by agrarian districts.
In the absence of any freight service, cargo is being booked in international passenger
flights that were being operated to select
foreign destinations in South Asia, South East
Asia and West Asia from here. Singapore is a
big market for the exporters from Tamil Nadu
and surrounding regions as bulk of vegetables is shipped to the country.
During May itself, 185 tonnes of cargo was exported from
the airport. Maximum quantity of overseas freight to Singapore consisting of vegetables, fruits and curry leaves moved
through the airport. A little over 160 MT of freight was uplifted by domestic airlines SpiceJet and IndiGo to Singapore
on different dates over the last one month.
On May 08, for the first time, a dedicated cargo freighter
was operated by the SpiceJet from Tiruchi to Singapore to
lift vegetables and fruits. Around 11 MT of perishables such
as vegetables, flowers were airlifted from Trichy.
Under the Krishi Udan scheme, the private airliner SpiceJet started a dedicated freight service in February connecting
Visakhapatnam and Chennai to Surat and Kolkata for marine products and pharmaceuticals. During the lockdown,
SpiceJet carried larger quantities of fresh farm and shrimp
record 9500 MT of
shrimp and farm
produce of shrimp
on both domestic
by fully integrated
Airports and Airlines take the lead
On an average, the Tiruchi International Airport, one of non
metro airports in the country, has surpassed the target set for
overseas cargo handling during the 2019-20.
60 | CargoConnect November 2020