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Vizag airport banks on veggies cargo to make up for losses

Cargo services pick up pace at Visakhapatnam airport
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Cargo services pick up pace at Visakhapatnam airport

Highlights

It is just not an impressive passenger footfall, but air cargo movement is also picking pace at Visakhapatnam airport in the past seven months

Visakhapatnam: It is just not an impressive passenger footfall, but air cargo movement is also picking pace at Visakhapatnam airport in the past seven months. Along with other supplies that are now being transported, Visakhapatnam airport authorities are planning to pay special focus on transporting vegetables to make up for the lost revenue, especially during the off-peak season.

With two more cargo services to be added to the fleet, the airport officials pin hopes on dedicated cargo capacities. Soon, SpiceJet is going to start two air cargo services from the City of Destiny. With Port Blair having a huge potential for vegetables, the airport authorities are planning to cash in on the growing demand for vegetables by launching a dedicated cargo service to the destination.

Currently, two cargo services operate via Visakhapatnam. While one flight arrives from Chennai, the other airline is directly operated from the port city. At present, Surat and Kolkata avail cargo services. Ever since the cargo services commenced in Visakhapatnam, aqua farmers and those who run aqua hatcheries appear to be benefited at large.

Earlier, it's a time-consuming exercise for the traders as prawn seedlings used to get delivered to Mumbai through flight. From there, it headed to Surat by road. As a result, many seedlings perished due to drop in the oxygen levels. A portion of the seedlings used to get rotten by the time it reached the destination.

The delay in the transportation led to 30 to 50 per cent of loss to the farmers every trip. But now, it only takes three hours to reach the destination as the travel time has been reduced

due to the direct cargo service available to Surat.

Cargo services via Visakhapatnam from April to September include 1.19 lakh tonnes in April, May: 1.99 lakh tonnes, June: 2.91 lakh tonnes, July:3.18 lakh August: 2.43 lakh and September:

2.36 lakh. "Normally, shrimps will be in high demand from January to August every year as it is the appropriate season for the seafood. But, to make up for the dull season between September to December, plans are afoot to supply vegetables to Port Blair and other destinations," says M Raja

Kishore, Airport Director.

At present, the transportation from Vizag includes perishable cargo, dangerous goods, valuable cargo, general cargo, electrical and electronics, engineering goods, textile garments and other miscellaneous supplies. In future, vegetables will form a part of the major cargo.

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