Di­rect AI flight to Birm­ing­ham

A tran­ship­ment hub in the mak­ing

Cargo Talk - - International Airport - RATAN KR PAUL

On Au­gust 1 this year, Birm­ing­ham Air­port will re­ceive Air In­dia’s flight, fly­ing from Delhi Air­port. The air­line will op­er­ate four di­rect flights a week, us­ing the new Boe­ing 787-800 ‘Dream­liner’ air­craft, on ev­ery Mon­day, Tues­day, Thurs­day and Satur­day. Uday Dho­lakia, Brand Ambassador for Asian Mar­kets, Birm­ing­ham Air­port high­lights the sig­nif­i­cance of the new ser­vices from cargo op­er­a­tion’s point of view…

Statis­tics shows that around 68 per cent of per­ish­ables land­ing in the UK and Europe for the Bri­tish Asian mar­kets end up in the Mid­lands and the North of Eng­land. In ad­di­tion, the ma­jor su­per­mar­ket and mul­ti­ple dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres are within an hour’s drive from the air­port. The west­ward traf­fic of cargo and parcels is fu­elled by the sup­ply chains around; food and drink, high-end con­sum­ables, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, ro­bot­ics and au­to­mo­tive for the In­dian sub-con­ti­nent and the Far East.

Com­ment­ing on the new ser­vices of Air In­dia to Birm­ing­ham Air­port, he main­tained that Air In­dia cargo team had stud­ied the po­ten­tial of Birm­ing­ham over the last three years. They found out that there is a huge scope for of­fer­ing value-for-money, and the short­ened de­liv­ery times to end users is favourable, com­pared to land­ing cargo at air-hubs on main­land Europe and Heathrow, and then mov­ing them across to the Mid­lands by trucks. “Added to this, Birm­ing­ham is work­ing with all the reg­u­la­tors to pro­vide a sin­gle point clear­ance with de­ploy­ment of e-freight,” Dho­lakia said.

Birm­ing­ham is well served by M6 and M1 mo­tor­ways. The Bri­tish govern­ment has al­ready in­vested in ex­tend­ing the road pro­vi­sion around the air­port, which also sup­ports the ex­pan­sion of the nearby Jaguar Land Rover plant.

Uday Dho­lakia brand ambassador for asian mar­kets, birm­ing­ham air­port

Com­ment­ing on the pos­si­bil­i­ties of cargo traf­fic be­tween Delhi and Birm­ing­ham he in­formed that im­ports to Birm­ing­ham will be fresh fruits, veg­eta­bles, flow­ers, phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, high-value gold, sil­ver and di­a­monds, au­to­mo­tive parts and just-in-time sup­ply of high-end cast­ing and value-added en­gi­neer­ing. Ad­di­tion­ally, there has been an ex­po­nen­tial rise in e-com­merce based sup­ply of fash­ion and jewellery prod­ucts, pri­mar­ily aimed at the wed­ding mar­kets, but in­creas­ingly for daily con­sump­tion as well.

In terms of ex­ports from Birm­ing­ham, there will be pro­cessed food and drink for su­per­mar­ket sup­plier-chains, lux­ury ho­tels, restau­rants and e-com­merce based high-end niche mar­kets for gourmet food and drink. Au­to­mo­tive, robotic and high­end en­gi­neer­ing parts and just-in-time elec­tronic and elec­tri­cal com­po­nents for cars and ma­chin­ery will also be ex­ported from Birm­ing­ham. “The de­mand for Bri­tish­made and pro­cessed food and drink is grow­ing ex­po­nen­tially; based on in­no­va­tion, mar­ket­ing and world-class qual­ity driven by a ro­bust reg­u­la­tory frame­work,” Dho­lakia pointed out.

Ac­cord­ing to him, Birm­ing­ham Air­port is all set to ful­fil the de­mand from the air­lines. The air­port is ex­tend­ing its run­way, which will be ready by spring of 2014, thus en­abling wider-body air­craft and pure freighters to land and take off. Apart from the ex­ten­sion of the run­way, the air­port has just pub­lished its strat­egy to de­velop some 200 acres fa­cil­i­ties to sup­port port-cen­tric ac­tiv­i­ties. “Birm­ing­ham is well served by M6 and M1 mo­tor­way net­works. Added to this, there is an op­por­tu­nity for high-speed rail links to Lon­don. The Bri­tish govern­ment has al­ready in­vested in ex­tend­ing the road pro­vi­sion around the air­port, which also sup­ports the ex­pan­sion of Jaguar Land Rover plant sit­u­ated within the prox­im­ity of the air­port,” Dho­lakia pointed out. He also high­lighted that, Birm­ing­ham is ide­ally lo­cated at the cen­tre of Eng­land, UK’s man­u­fac­tur­ing heart­land. “With con­nec­tiv­ity in­creas­ing to Turkey, the Mid­dle East, rest of Europe and the USA, the core in­gre­di­ents for a Euro­pean pas­sen­ger and cargo hub are present and are been ac­tively de­vel­oped,” he em­pha­sised.

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