Mango row hits PIA
THE CARGO division of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has come under attack from unhappy mango shippers.
They claim the Asian carrier has not been providing enough cargo space or facilities to promote mango exports.
In response, the airline has agreed to a new business strategy to lift more of the exotic fruit, which is increasingly in demand in the west and elsewhere in the world.
A meeting between officials from the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) and a seven-member delegation of PIA managers, heard of a lack of specialist equipment and dedicated cargo space for such perishable items.
Uncompetitive cargo tariffs also came under attack.The new strategy decision is seen as good news for the Pakistan mango industry.
Future exports of Pakistan-grown mangoes will see a reasonable jump in next couple of years, say officials.
A help desk has been set up to facilitate perishables exporters in cargo-related matters and mango charters will be organised by PIA.
Currently some 85 per cent of all mango air cargo shipments are being lifted by rival airlines, notes Waheed Ahmed, chairman of the PFVA.