The second India-Afghanistan air cargo route linking Kabul to Mumbai was launched on Wednesday, with officials saying that it is expected to boost the export of fresh fruits and medicinal plants from Afghanistan.
The second route follows the success of the Kabul-New Delhi air corridor that was inaugurated by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in mid-June.
Afghan officials told the media that 10,640 tons of fresh produce, fresh and dried fruits, medicinal plants and handicrafts worth more than $20 million had been exported to India since the launch of the first corridor.
The second corridor was inaugurated by Afghan and Indian officials at the Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul.
Manpreet Vohra, who is India’s envoy to Afghanistan, tweeted, “Congratulations, #Afghanistan! The #IndiaAfghanistanAirCorridor expanded today! His Excellency Afghan Vice President Sarwar Danish inaugurated the first cargo flight from Kabul to Mumbai. Real and unimpeded connectivity for Afghan traders.”
Speaking at the launch ceremony, Deputy Chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Khan Jan Alokozay, said the export of Afghan fruits will increase owing to the new route. “The government has taken 80 per cent responsibility for exporting fruits outside the country,” he was quoted as saying by Tolo News.
Vice-President Mohammad Sarwar Danish said the air corridor is very important for the government. “We are hoping that the neighbouring countries even consider the economy in their political policy,” he said.