Air freight station in Chennai to start operations from Monday

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on December 05, 2014

Kick start GMR and Menzies Aviation will be in charge of the facility

Finally, an air freight station (AFS) in Chennai will start operations on Monday after the idea for such a facility was conceptualised seven years ago.

Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo Pvt. Ltd, a joint venture company between GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited and London-based Menzies Aviation Plc, will start the AFS in association with Central Warehousing Corporation (CSC), which was one of the first companies to get an AFS licence.

This means, the Hyderabad airport will extend services to its airline customers by expanding their hinterland to Chennai enabling local trade members to route their shipment through the Hyderabad airport.

Chennai is second location after Nagpur for Hyderabad Menzies to start the AFS service, sources said.

The Hyderabad airport will act as a facilitator. For example, Turkish Airlines lands in Hyderabad but does not fly to Chennai. However, through the AFS facility, the Hyderabad airport will introduce bonded trucking service so that export cargo is moved from Chennai by road to Hyderabad 'in bond” and the cargo is put on board a Turkish Airline.

A similar arrangement will available for import cargo from Hyderabad.

This means, the Chennai airport will lose terminal, storage and processing (TSP) and demurrage charges, sources said. The AFS was first introduced in Chennai to help customers take delivery of cargo in one or two days and decongest the airport. However, it did not take off because AAI, which has been controlling the air cargo operations, felt that it may lose control and revenue if cargo is moved out to an off-dock AFS.

While Indev operates an AFS near Chennai, it is mostly for Special Economic Zone cargo, sources said.

At present, export cargo is sent by a domestic airline from Chennai to Hyderabad and from there it is sent to an international destination.

It is too early to comment on the volume and the cost benefit, source said.

Published on December 05, 2014

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