The air cargo sector in India is on an upward trajectory, though not very sharp. The Government of India’s numerous efforts at strengthening the logistics infrastructure have also given a boost to air cargo. While on one hand, the number of freighters being operated has increased, on the other hand, the share of cargo carried into and out of India by sovereign flag carriers has also seen a rise. Then there is the Krishi UDAN scheme, which connects farmers to major consumption centers throughout the country.
During the recently held Air Cargo India 2022 event, a point of discussion was connectivity of Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to the Tier 1 cities and the rest of the world. It was put forth that with the increase in demand, especially from the e-commerce sector, airports are being developed in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well, that too with better infrastructure – which ultimately enables faster freight movement. In order to handle the ambitious target volume of 10 million MT, it becomes necessary to not only improvise international connectivity, but also improve intra-connectivity. This is where regional airports play an important role.
Mr. Keku Gazer (MD and CEO, Aviapro Logistics Services) said in a recent interview, “The Indian Government through its subsidiary, AAI CLAS and private airports, will continue to invest in and develop more retail airports. With the growing cargo movement coming from tier 2 and 3 cities, this is going to be a major move forward. Regional airports are going to play a significant role in transporting cargo from the factories or their distribution points. New airports are being developed as multimodal hubs, with connectivity from air/ports/sea/road/rail. This will have a very big impact as we move forward.”
Regional airports become the key to unlock the economic treasures for India while connecting various domestic industrial and manufacturing hubs to each other, as well as the world. With the economy trying to recover post-COVID, a competitive environment was created for the cargo handling to provide best services to the stakeholders. In this direction, AAl has appointed Ground Handling Agents for providing equipment and manpower for 15 Airports in the country for carrying out the airlines and cargo functions on behalf of airlines.
AAl has also been undertaking the International Cargo handling operations at Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Coimbatore, Trichy, Amritsar, Guwahati, Mangalore Airports departmentally and Trivandrum, Varanasi, Bagdogra, Bhubaneshwar, Calicut, Vizag, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Indore and Goa Airports through 0&M Model.