India limits non-scheduled freighter flights to six airports

5G buffer zones will be implemented at 50 US airports. Photo: Shutterstock

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has limited non-scheduled and ad hoc cargo flights by foreign carriers to six airports.

The change in country’s open sky policy was made following a government review and it is hoped the move will promote India’s airfreight carriers.

“The changes have been made with a view to ensure fair and equal opportunity in the air cargo capacity offered by Indian registered airlines and airlines registered elsewhere,” a circular from the Ministry of Civil Aviation read.

As per the revised policy, the operation of foreign ad hoc and pure non-scheduled freighter charter service flights have been restricted to operate at six airports; Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

According to the Hindu news service, Cochin International Airport has warned that the move will curtail exports — in particular perishables — from the airport as most of the cargo flights from the airport were carried out by foreign airlines, particularly from the Middle East.

There are no airports in the state of Kerala now able to handle cargo charters from foreign airlines.

During the lockdown period (March-June) Cochin International Airport handled 8,996.6 tonnes of cargo; with the daily average of international exports alone during the March-June period 70.1 tonnes.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]