(MENAFN- KNN India) Bhubaneshwar, Feb 2 (KNN) A new chapter unfolded at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) with the launch of the air cargo service, marking a significant milestone for the state's business community.
On its inaugural day, the air cargo service saw the dispatch of 100 kg of cashew nuts to Dubai and Jidal Steel products to Sweden, both via Kolkata airport.
Minister of MSME and Energy, Pratap Keshari Deb, emphasised the pivotal role this new service plays in liberating local businesses from dependency on other airports like Visakhapatnam, Chennai, and Kolkata.
He stated, "Now, businessmen in the state can directly export and import their products to destination countries through BPIA, eliminating delays and extra charges incurred at other airports. Any potential delays can be swiftly resolved, ensuring a more efficient process."
Deb highlighted the diverse range of products that could benefit from this air cargo service in Odisha, including farm produce, metals, minerals, handicrafts, handloom items, horticulture products, marine goods, and pharmaceuticals.
The air cargo service, implemented at a cost of Rs 2 crore, has been made possible by the direct flight connections to Singapore, Dubai, and Bangkok from Bhubaneswar airport.
Saswat Mishra, special secretary of the MSME department, revealed that despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, 56 per cent of goods transportation from Odisha occurred through air cargo services.
Usha Padhee, principal secretary of the Commerce and Transport department, pointed out the substantial capacity for cargo transportation, with Indigo alone handling 210 tons of cargo daily and expressing the capability to support the transportation of at least 30 per cent of goods from the state.
This development is expected to boost trade and commerce in Odisha, facilitating smoother and more direct global connections for local businesses.
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