SpiceFresh, a subsidiary of SpiceJet that partners directly with farmers, launched a dedicated freight service to transport fresh produce. To mark the occasion, two flights flew 1 tonne each of mandarin oranges from Guwahati International Airport (GAU), to Hong Kong (HKG) and Dubai (DBX), according to Times of India and a Twitter statement from the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Weekly flight schedules and volumes from Guwahati for the new service are yet to be confirmed. However, both the HKG and DBX routes will likely be connected via the airline’s international network, and operated by SpiceXpress and SpiceJet aircraft. Currently, SpiceJet operates several 737 NG passenger aircraft.
The new freighter service from GAU is a continuation of development in air cargo opportunities for northeast India’s produce exports. The launch follows the initiation of direct customs clearance for produce at GAU, which began in November 2018, according to a Twitter statement from Dharmendra Kumar Kamra, regional executive director for the northeastern region, AAI.
According to another report from EastMojo News Bureau, Kamra also said AAI is developing another international airfreight complex at GAU, which will bring the total handling capacity at the airport to 200,000 tonnes per year. Kamra also said AAI plans to add similar India-based facilities at Dibrugarh Airport (DIB) and Silchar Airport (IXS).