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Indiaexportnews.com

IATA lauds India's 16.9pc air cargo cargo growth, but calls for action

  11.09.2018    

The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) noted with satisfaction a 16.9 per cent surge in air cargo tonnage flown out of India, surpassing the one million tonnes achieved last year.
Speaking at the International Aviation Summit in Delhi, IATA director general and chief executive Alexandre de Juniac, former head of Air France-KLM, also noted that pharmaceuticals played an increasingly important role.
India's main trading partners are the UAE (30 per cent market share) and Qatar (11 per cent), followed by Ethiopia (7 per cent), the UK and Hong Kong (6 per cent each), noted London's Air Cargo News.
Mr de Juniac highlighted several areas that could maximise the potential contribution of India's aviation industry to the country's development.
"We must address infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that deviate from global standards and drive up the cost of connectivity," he said.
On top of that, the cost of fuel is a huge burden for Indian carriers, accounting for 34 per cent of their operating costs; the global average is 24 per cent.
Speaking in a panel discussion at the summit entitled, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, said: "The State of Qatar and India share a substantive and strong relationship that has evolved over the years, making India an important market for Qatar Airways. This is reflected by the 102 weekly flights we provide to 13 destinations across India."
Qatar Airways Cargo currently operates a total of 27 weekly freighter services to India, including five-times-week flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
Mumbai and Chennai airports both rank among the global top 10 fastest-growing in terms of cargo throughput according to IATA, achieving year-on-year growth of 18.1 per cent and 17.2 per cent respectively in 2017.
Mr de Juniac said India's aviation industry must modernise and develop a masterplan for its airports. The government, meanwhile, should align with global standards and reduce excessive state-imposed costs, including fuel taxes.
"Creating a better environment for aviation to do business can and will progress the nuts and bolts of India's development day to day," Mr de Juniac said, pointing out that the government and industry "share a responsibility to work together".
IATA also has identified a number of areas that could boost the potential contribution of India's aviation industry to the country's development. The pharmaceuticals market, in particular, is playing an increasingly important role in the economy.
Said Mr de Juniac: "We must address infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that deviate from global standards and drive up the cost of connectivity."
Furthermore, Indian carriers are hit hard by the cost of fuel which accounts for 34 per cent of their operating costs, far higher than the global average of 24 per cent, reported London's Air Cargo News.
Mumbai and Chennai airports both rank among the global top 10 fastest-growing gateways in terms of cargo throughput according to IATA, achieving year-on-year growth of 18.1 per cent and 17.2 per cent respectively in 2017.
In order to capitalise on this momentum, Mr de Juniac said India's aviation industry must modernise its processes and develop a strategic masterplan for its airports. The government, meanwhile, should align with global standards and reduce excessive state-imposed costs, including fuel duty.



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