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Emirates SkyCargo expects growth in exports of perishables from India

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Emirates SkyCargo, the airfreight division of Dubai based airline Emirates, expects a rise in exports of perishables from India in the next five years. 

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between India and UAE would give exports of pharmaceuticals & perishables further boost, Dennis Lister, vice president, Cargo Commercial Development & UAE Sales at Emirates SkyCargo said. 

Stating that India was one of the largest exporters of a wide variety of perishables, he said Emirates SkyCargo would unlock the potential by promoting Indian perishables at Gulf Food, a fresh food conference to be held in UAE.

“We want to invite Indian farmers to Dubai for the Gulf Food Exhibition and we want to introduce them to local and international traders. We have that ability to reach even the smallest SME business anywhere in the world, from the smallest farmer or grower in India and in the UAE to transport their products,” he said.

By supporting Indian farmers and connecting them with potential business, Emirates SkyCargo sees growth opportunities for itself. “We want to grow more out of India, particularly around perishables,” he said.

Since May 2021, it had moved over 2,60,000 tonnes of perishables from agricultural markets, including India, and has seen a 10% increase year on year.

Currently, pharmaceutical products constitute 15% of its consignment from India followed by perishables such as fruits, vegetables and flowers which account for 14%. This number is expected to grow in the CEPA regime. Mr. Lister said the CEPA between India & UAE would enhance trade between India and UAE from $60 billion now to $100 billion in five years. “So that means exporters from both ways, not just in the UAE and India but beyond, will benefit by really improving the tariffs and eliminating duties,” he said.  “That opens a world of opportunity. And this is also very good for the Indian pharmaceutical companies and now with the CEPA agreement, we can get a lot of the pharmaceuticals fast-track approvals within the UAE,” he added.

India happens to be one of the largest origins for pharma in the Emirates network. Around 35% of Emirates SkyCargo’s total pharma tonnage comes from India. It now operates 11 Boeing 777 freighters and flies to Mumbai and Ahmedabad regularly. Besides, it makes use of the belly space available in more than 170 weekly passenger flights of Emirates that fly from Dubai to nine Indian cities.  Meanwhile, Emirates SkyCargo said it recently received and inducted a brand new Boeing 777 freighter and one more would be received in June.

In addition, four existing 777-300 ER passenger aircraft will be converted into freighters by 2024 and another 6 Boeing 777 300 ERs passenger aircraft will be converted into freighters by 2026.  “This means the additional new capacity will benefit the Indian market as well,” he said.  



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