Odisha’s growing prowess in manufacturing has received a global nudge with the launch of international air cargo operations at Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA). Handling around 1,000 tonnes a year, the cargo services are expected to bolster the export potential of the state, benefiting a wide range of manufacturers.

On the inaugural day, Jindal Stainless despatched a 28-kg consignment of hot-rolled stainless steel plate samples to Sweden, becoming the first company to use the airport’s direct air cargo operations for international destinations.

“Our first consignment has gone to Sweden. According to the Odisha government’s department for micro, small and medium enterprises, the new air cargo facilities at Bhubaneswar airport will be connected to the entire globe. We will be leveraging the services as per our customer requirements,” says V Venkateswara Rao, Chief Logistics Officer, Jindal Stainless.

India’s largest stainless steel manufacturer, Jindal Stainless has two factories — one each in Odisha and Haryana. 

Rao says that with the launch of international air cargo operations at BPIA, the frequency of his company’s daily shipments from Bhubaneswar will increase significantly.

“Notably, sectors spanning metal and mining, aquaculture, vegetable cultivation, fisheries, handicrafts, spices, and perishable food items stand to benefit, given the critical importance of timely despatch for products with limited shelf-life,” he says.

The air transport, however, will only serve as complementary support, without affecting established maritime logistics, he adds.

Abhyuday Jindal, Managing Director, Jindal Stainless, says the air cargo services at BPIA will also help generate employment for the local population. “Leveraging the air cargo facilities at Bhubaneswar airport is a win-win for all,” he says.

The central government, too, has reiterated its focus on the eastern region in its push to achieve the goal of Viksit Bharat 2047. 

“Our Government will pay utmost attention to make the eastern region and its people a powerful driver of India’s growth,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her recent interim budget speech.