Guwahati: In a bid to boost agricultural exports, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) flagged off a dedicated air freight service via SpiceFresh, a subsidiary of SpiceJet, at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport in Guwahati, Assam on Monday.
Two flights took off for Hong Kong and Dubai, each carrying 1,000 kg of mandarin fruits for export.
Inaugurated by Assam industries and commerce minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, the air freight service is aimed at increasing exports of various crops from all districts of Assam as well as other Northeastern states.
Local fruits sourced from various districts will be sent to the markets of Hong-Kong and Dubai through this service. Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the coordinating agency of the ministry of commerce and industry, is forming associations with various stakeholders to bridge the exports gap.
The collaboration with various stakeholders will make the exports process smoother and link produce of Northeast to the international market. The APEDA is successfully persuading various airlines to charge competitive rates for exports from this region.
Patowary said: “A pride moment for them whose products will reach overseas market. The organic to extent agri-products harvested with the dedicated efforts of the farmers have lots of potential in the area where bigger markets have to be explored.”
Lauding the efforts of the Civil Aviation ministry Patowary further said: “This is for the welfare of the farmers that the ministry of civil aviation with AAI and the Airline companies have come forward and started this service. He also emphasised on the need to regularise this service thanking all concerned specially team AAI.”
Flagging off the export freight service, DK Kamra, regional executive director, AAI said, “AAI is developing another international air cargo complex in Guwahati and once completed, the annual handling capacity of the cargo complex will reach up to 2 lakh MT with all the facilities available here at the airport.” He also revealed that the AAI is also planning to start similar facilities from Dibrugarh, and Silchar airport.