Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Air India's move to change aircraft flayed

Thiruvananthapuram: The country is likely to lose foreign exchange estimated at Rs.250 crores from exports of fresh vegetables, fruits and other perishables to Dubai if Air India goes ahead with the decision to replace A-310 aircraft with B-737 in the Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai sector with effect from January 11.
The A-310 used by national carrier for its five weekly services in Thiruvananthapuram-Dubai sector can carry 215 passengers and uplift 10-15 tonnes of cargo. The B-737 does not have the facility to lift export cargo, airline sources said.
Air India Express, the no-frills airline of AI, which operates two weekly direct flights from here to Dubai and Abu Dhabi, also does not provide cargo facility as it uses narrow-bodied aircraft B 737-800. According to the exporters, they will have to depend on the Dubai-based foreign airline that has daily direct flights from the capital and uses wide-bodied B-767 for flight operations.
09/01/07 S. Anil Radhakrishnan/The Hindu