AAI mulls to waive off charges for airlines carrying oxygen

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on April 26, 2021

It also applies for oxygen-related equipment cargo

Following in the footsteps of the shipping ministry, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is also mulling a proposal to waive off charges for airlines carrying oxygen and oxygen-related equipment cargo, according to highly placed officials.

Most of the oxygen and oxygen-related equipment cargo-related cargo are likely to come by air. The waiver of terminal storage and processing charges could be around ₹3.50 per kg plus GST of 18 per cent, they said.

After the shipping ministry announced the waiver, the air industry also wants a similar waiver.

Officials said that the process for paperwork has been started by AAI, and an announcement is expected any time now.

With oxygen in huge demand to treat Covid-19 patients, on April 24, the Finance Ministry exempted a range of goods, including oxygen concentrators such as flow meter, regulator, connectors and tubings; medical oxygen and oxygen generators from Customs duty.

A day later, the shipping ministry directed all major ports, including the Kamarajar Port Ltd, to waive-off all charges levied by major ports. This includes vessel-related charges and storage charges and accord highest priority in berthing sequence to the vessels carrying consignments like medical grade oxygen; oxygen tanks; oxygen bottles for three months or until further orders.

Industry associations like The Air Cargo Agents Association of India and industry chambers like the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry too wanted a similar waiver for speedy clearance of oxygen-related consignments, officials said.

B Govindarajan, COO of Tirwin Management Services that specialises in special cargo said that it is more important that private air cargo terminal operators should also waive off the terminal charges for oxygen related shipments since the majority of the shipments would land in such airports. Similarly, all airlines instead of exploiting the situations should desist from imposing surcharges to freight amounts and support the humanitarian commitment exhibited by the other stakeholders, he added.

Published on April 26, 2021

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