Air cargo volumes for export-import at Kolkata airport hit during lockdown
Air cargo volumes for export and import at the city airport have been severely hit during the lockdown, an official said on Wednesday.
According to data provided by AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company, a subsidiary of the Airports Authority of India, the export-import (Exim) cargo at Kolkata airport was around 30 lakh kg in February 2020, which declined to nearly 11 lakh kg in May.
The situation is almost the same all over the country, the official of the Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI) said.
"The lockdown has caused a damaging effect on the air cargo business in Kolkata. The volumes have dropped sharply following the COVID-19 outbreak, and the scenario is the same in other airports as well," ACAAI regional chairman Jaideep Raha said.
The number of international flights from Kolkata was far less than that of Delhi and Mumbai and the air cargo movement from the city airport was "the worst-affected", he claimed.
During the lockdown, airlines like Qatar Airways, Singapore, Emirates and Air Asia have suspended operations from Kolkata, while Thai Airways has filed for bankruptcy, Raha said.
He said businesses of many freight forwarders and logistics firms are on the verge of closure and jobs of several people are at stake.
The main exporting sectors that have suffered during the lockdown are leather, Darjeeling tea, silk and fashion garments and jewellery.