Deccan Cargo to set up hub at Nagpur

July 10th, 2008 - 11:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Nagpur, July 10 (IANS) In a major step towards operationalisation of the multi-modal international hub airport at Nagpur (MIHAN), the Maharashtra Airport Development Co (MADC) Thursday signed a pact with Deccan Cargo for running a cargo hub here. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who is the ex-officio chairman of MADC, signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Captain Gopinath of Deccan Cargo in the presence of Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and union Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy Vilas Muttemwar among other dignitaries.

Reiterating that Nagpur was his dream city and MIHAN his dream project, Deshmukh said it was the happiest day for him as chairman of the project.

Describing the signing of MoU as creation of runway for the take off of MIHAN, better known as Cargo Hub Project, Patel hoped it would develop into one of the finest facilities of the kind in the world.

“Nagpur is decidedly the natural corridor for freight logistics in India and a highly favourable nodal point on the world cargo movement map,” he said, adding that time will vindicate the choice of the city for the project in preference to Hyderabad.

The civil aviation minister also disclosed that Indian Airlines too will set up a cargo hub in the city.

Deccan Cargo, set up by the erstwhile Air Deccan management, plans to begin cargo transport operations through 10 aircraft from here early next year, Gopinath said in his presentation before the media and senior executives of the two companies after signing the agreement.

Describing the MoU as a historic step for the Indian industry, Gopinath said with the acquisition of 10 aircraft, his company’s cargo handling capacity will be twice as much as that of the Indian Airlines, and that it will reach out to over 66 cities in India where Air Deccan had already reached.

“The air cargo connectivity in the country is limited to only seven cities as of now, leaving out cargo in the smaller cities that accounts for 85 percent of the GDP”, he said adding that increase in the velocity of business cargo will put India in league of five top global economies in the next ten years.

“Nagpur is set to change the logistics backbone of India,” the Deccan Cargo CEO said, expressing happiness about his studied choice of the centrally located city as the hub for the company’s cargo handling operations.

The company proposes to make an initial investment of Rs.14 billion for setting up the hub on 50 acres the MADC has offered it for parking and maintenance of aircraft and handling the cargo redistribution.

“The hub will facilitate fast air cargo movement and provide the apples in Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir and oranges in Nagpur a timely access to the world market,” Gopinath concluded.

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