Hyderabad, May 17: Air cargo major Cathay Pacific Thursday announced its expansion in India with a new twice-weekly freighter service to Hyderabad.
The service will operate on the Hong Kong-Delhi-Bangalore-Hyderabad-Hong Kong route every Thursday and on the Hong Kong-Chennai-Hyderabad-Hong Kong route on Sundays.
The move makes Cathay Pacific the first airline to offer air cargo services linking Hyderabad with east and north Asia.
The company launched its service a month after Thai Airways commenced its Bangkok-Hyderabad-Frankfurt cargo freighter service. Lufthansa is already operating four freighter services a week on the Mumbai-Hyderabad-Sharjah-Frankfurt route.
“India, and in particular Hyderabad, is fast emerging as an important pharmaceutical manufacturing centre with 70 percent of the exports coming from Hyderabad alone. Cathay Pacific expertise, along with the connectivity and the modern infrastructure at the Hyderabad airport will enable us to offer our customers the best and most reliable infrastructure facility for air cargo transport,” said Vikram Jaisinghani, chief executive officer of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAl).
The GHIAI’s cargo terminal is the country’s first modular integrated cargo facility spread over an area of 14,330 sq metres with a capacity to handle 150,000 tonnes of cargo annually.
The terminal also has India’s only dedicated pharmaceutical handling zone which offers a temperature-controlled environment for handling temperature sensitive pharma products to maintain the cold chain during the shipment movement process.
While Air Freight volumes in India have grown at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.3 percent since 2008-09, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad, recorded a 12.5 percent CAGR, handling 82,000 tonnes during 2011-12.
RGIA currently manages over 270 international and 1,645 domestic flights a week serving Africa, Europe, USA, Middle East and Asia Pacific regions.