Dedicated cargo flights from Vizag from tomorrow

SpiceJet is all set to operate its cargo flights from Visakhapatnam airport from February 25. A schedule for the SpiceJet freighter, connecting Visakhapatnam with Surat and Kolkata, has been approved by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) after clearance from the Naval Headquarters in Delhi. The first cargo flight — SG 7051 — will land in Vizag at 11.50 a.m. from Chennai and take off for Surat at 1.05 p.m. This flight will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The second freighter — SG 7050 — will arrive here at 11.50 a.m. from Chennai and take off at 1.05 p.m. for Kolkata.

This flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, according to Airport Director M. Raja Kishore.

Impressive growth

Both domestic and international air cargo from Visakhapatnam, registered an increase during the last four years, and an impressive growth during the last two years.

The exports from Vizag include seafood, auto parts, diamonds and textiles. Following is the break-up of the domestic and international cargo handled by Vizag Airport: 2015-16 (2,935 tons and 25 tons); 2016-17 (3,579 tons and 54 tons); 2017-18 (3,386 tons and 297 tons); and 2018-19 (5,241 tons and 498 tons).

SpiceJet initially planned to operate dedicated cargo flights on the same routes with arrival at 11.50 a.m. and departure at 12.50 p.m., with effect from February 15. The plan, however, failed to take off due to non-availability of slots. Visakhapatnam MP M.V.V. Satyanarayana took up the issue with the Defence Minister and the move has finally yielded a positive result.

These flights will be a boon to cargo exporters, especially seafood exporters, who have to export their products in the shortest possible time, say AP Air Travellers’ Association leaders K. Kumar Raja, D.S. Varma and O. Naresh Kumar.

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