NEW DELHI: Adding a new dimension to bilateral ties, India and Afghanistan inaugurated a dedicated air freight corridor service recently.
The corridor which passes through the airspace of Pakistan was launched with a cargo aircraft flight flagged off by Afghanistan President Dr. Ashraf Ghani.
The dedicated air corridor was planned during the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ghani in Kabul in September 2016. Mr. Modi welcomed the formal opening of the dedicated service and said in a social media message, “Happy to welcome first Air Freight Corridor flight from Kabul. Direct connectivity between India and Afghanistan will usher in prosperity. I thank President Ashraf Ghani for the initiative.”
The cargo aircraft which carried high-grade Afghan asafoetida or “hing” among other goods, landed in Delhi and was welcomed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar, and Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju.
Welcoming the new dedicated air cargo route, the Ministry of External Affairs said, “The connectivity established through the Air Freight Corridor will provide Afghanistan, a landlocked Country, greater access to markets in India, and will allow Afghan businessmen to leverage India’s economic growth and trade networks for its benefit. It would enable Afghan farmers quick and direct access to the Indian markets for their perishable produce.”