Cathay Pacific to give Kolkata its second freighter service

Cathay Pacific Airways has introduced freighter service in Kolkata, boosting the city’s trade opportunities. The freighter carries goods into Kolkata late on Wednesday and Saturday and lift cargo on Thursday and Sunday. It operates a Boeing 747-400 aircraft with a capacity of 100 tonne, but Kolkata’s share is likely to be 25 tonne because it will go to Delhi first. At present, only Qatar Airways operates a freighter service on Wednesdays and Fridays. Other airlines carry cargo in the belly of passenger aircraft as does Cathay Pacific on its 140-plus planes.
Anand Yedery, Airline regional cargo manager (South Asia, Middle East and Africa), said, “The service boosts cargo not only to and from this city but entire eastern India, providing greater connectivity, flexibility and access to the world.” Cargo James Woodrow, Cathay Pacific director, said, “India is a very important market for us. The new Kolkata service boosts the flow of garments and food products to and from India, taking advantage of our world-class facilities in Hong Kong to connect to our comprehensive global cargo network.”
The cargo situation at Kolkata airport is not very bright with the state-of-the-art facility remaining largely unutilised. While there are some exports primarily leather goods to Europe and the US and perishables like fresh vegetables, frozen fish and live crabs to Singapore, Taipei, Beijing and Shanghai the import quantum is poor. “Kolkata used to import project material like heavy machinery and electronic equipment. But that has gone down substantially as industrial activity has slowed down,” a source said.