Hyderabad: GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), which runs the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the city, is in talks with five international freight carriers to start operations from here, a top executive of GHIAL said.
Chief Operating Officer Hemanth D P said Lufthansa Cargo, which has been operating three flights a week from the Hyderabad International Airport, is set to start a fourth service in a few days.
"At this point of time, we are in discussions with five major freighters to start operations from Hyderabad. Their senior-most management has visited us and some of them have complimented that it is one of the best airports in the
world," Hemanth told reporters.
Currently, there are three full-body freighters operating from Hyderabad. Emirates is operating three body cargo freighters, each with 15 to 20 tonnes capacity, he said.
The Hyderabad airport handled 80,777 tonnes of cargo in 2010-11 and 55 per cent of it was international, he added.
Speaking about the Free Trade Zone set up in the 250-acre SEZ, Hemanth said they are in the final stages of discussion with some large global logistics and 3PL players and expect to conclude negotiations shortly.
The FTZ would help logistics companies to warehouse, distribute, trade and add value to their commodities both in the short and long-term without an impact on import duty.
"We have started with 20 acres at this point in time and have the option to expand the FTZ area furthermore, which we will as we move along," he said.
Lufthansa Cargo earlier certified GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) as one of its key cargo hubs in South Asia for the transport of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, making the airport India's first to enjoy
such a status.
The dedicated pharma zone at the Hyderabad airport, which became operational in January, can provide temperature-controlled handling for more than 30,000 tonnes of pharma products annually.
The zone will have officials from both the drug controller's office and the customs department. Lufthansa Cargo will provide the capacity for transport of
temperature-sensitive cargo. The company will station its own fleet of cooling containers, called Opti-Coolers, at GHIAL.
"While we exported 531 tonnes of pharma products from here during January-February, we did 1,926 tonnes during July-August," the GMR official said.
First Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2011, 09:58