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Aqua exporters unaware of cargo facility at Gannavaram airport near Vijayawada

The ten ton air cargo capacity at the Gannavaram airport in Vijaywada near the new Andhra Pradesh capital is lying idle while acua and agricultural exporters from the state continue to prefer dealing with distant Hyderabad airport though it is nearly three per cent expensive.

The air cargo handling capacity in the Gannavaram airport, which has been functional since August 1 , is hardly being used by aqua and agricultural exporters, though it happens to be the cheaper way as compared to the one they use for transportation of cargo.

A leading Logistics provider in the city said, “It costs Rs 12 per kg to handle goods from Vijayawada to Delhi while it costs Rs 32 per kg to delivert them from Hyderabad to Delhi. Sir, some exporters are opting to export from Hyderabad may be out of the old habit that the City was their capital for decades and are unaware of the cheaper cargo service available from Gannavaram airport..”

Despite the appeals from the Logistics industry, there has been no change in the situation. “Though we have held several meetings to deal directly with the farmers, the response was not that encouraging. The industry plans to engage with them once more in a bid to educate them on the advantages of handling goods from the local airport. We will conduct seminars and workshops to raise awareness among them, said the industry sources.

This ignorance is leaving a huge potential untapped, as Delhi’s prices of aquaculture and agricultural products are more than triple the prices in Andhra Pradesh.

The good news is that the budget airline Indigo will start operating flights from Gannavaram airport from next month when the cargo handling capacity of the airport will go up to 12 tons.

A spokesman of the airport said Indigo is to park its first aircraft in Gannavaram airport on September 15 and bring in the rest of its three aircrafts, ‘in phases. The airline has not yet decided the destination of the flights. “They have taken permission to operate from September 1 but have decided to be prudent and start operating their first aircraft from September 15; they will introduce the rest three in phases based on the passenger traffic.”

The Marine Products Exports Development Authority (MPEDA), said they have conducted meetings with the Aqua exporters about the cost advantages of handling them at Gannavaram airport and hence they do not move their products to Hyderabad.

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