AFS in Chennai kicks off
To enable working and decongestion at the Chennai airport, the operations at air freight station in Chennai were commenced from December 8, 2014 enabling services to be extended to the hinterland of the state.
An air freight station (AFS) in Chennai started its operations on December 8, 2014 after the idea for such a facility was conceptualised seven years ago.
Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo, a joint venture company between GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited and London-based Menzies Aviation Plc, started the AFS in association with Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC), which was one of the first companies to get an AFS licence.
The Hyderabad airport will extend services to its airline customers by expanding their hinterland to Chennai enabling local trade members to route their shipment through the Hyderabad airport.
According to sources, Chennai is second location after Nagpur for Hyderabad Menzies to start the AFS service.
The Hyderabad airport will act as a facilitator. For example, Turkish Airlines lands in Hyderabad but does not fly to Chennai. However, through the AFS facility, the Hyderabad airport will introduce bonded trucking service so that export cargo is moved from Chennai by road to Hyderabad ‘in bond’ and the cargo is put on board a Turkish Airline.
A similar arrangement will be available to import cargo from Hyderabad. The AFS was first introduced in Chennai to help customers take delivery of cargo in one or two days and decongest the airport. However, it did not take off because Airports Authority of India, which has been controlling the air cargo operations, felt that it may lose control and revenue if cargo is moved out to an off-dock AFS.
At present, export cargo is sent by a domestic airline from Chennai to Hyderabad and from there it is sent to an international destination.
It is too early to comment on the volume and the cost benefit, sources said.
Chennai is second location after Nagpur for Hyderabad Menzies to start the AFS service operations from December 8, 2014 to decongest Chennai Airport