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Friday , 23 February 2024

Hyderabad airport may become cargo hub

The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Hyderabad, operated by GMR Hyderabad Airport International (GHIAL), may become the country’s first cargo hub. While Lufthansa Airlines already operates four freight services a week on the Mumbai-Hyderabad-Sharjah-Frankfurt sector, Thai Airways has recently begun a new Bangkok-Hyderabad-Frankfurt cargo service. These services directly connect Hyderabad with important cities in the Far East and Europe. The city is well suited to be a cargo hub due to its good infrastructure, central location, large presence of the pharmaceutical sector, and its free trade zone and special economic zone. The cargo terminal at the airport is the country’s first integrated cargo facility, with an area of 14,330 square metres, and an annual cargo-handling capacity of 150,000 tonnes. A cargo apron, being constructed at a cost of $4 million, is expected to be ready by the end of the year. The apron will be able to handle all wide-bodied aircraft. At present pharmaceutical products form about 70 percent of the airport’s exports, the other major component being defence equipment. This scenario is expected to change once the city airport becomes a cargo hub, catering to several Indian cities. Another facility being developed is the Road Feeder Services which would deliver air consignments to important cities around the country safely and reliably. Discussions are also on with major international trunk route freighter airlines to put Hyderabad on their maps. During 2011-12, the airport handled around 82,000 tonnes of cargo, registering a growth of about 15 percent.

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