Private airliner SpiceJet will operate a direct dedicated freighter service to connect Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Surat and Kolkata from February 25th. After clearance from the Naval Headquarters in Delhi, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) approved the schedule for the SpiceJet freighter, connecting Visakhapatnam with Surat and Kolkata.

The airlines’ decision to launch the first ‘marine Krishi Udaan’ is likely to give a big boost to the marine and pharmaceutical exports from the city, especially shrimp farming in South Gujarat.

Krishi Udaan is a tie-up with the Civil Aviation Ministry to help farmers transport grains and produce by air.

According to media reports, the first cargo flight — SG 7051 — will land in Vizag at 11.50 a.m. from Chennai and take off for Surat at 1.05 p.m. This flight will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The second freighter — SG 7050 — will arrive here at 11.50 a.m. from Chennai and take off at 1.05 p.m. for Kolkata.

Currently, due to the lack of cargo flights from Visakhapatnam a lot of cargo is transported via road to Chennai and Hyderabad airports for onward export.

SpiceJet officials while commenting on the same said, “This will improve logistics and connectivity, thus helping enormously in the growth of shrimp farming.”

Chennai and Visakhapatnam are major shrimp seed producing centres in India. The shrimp seeds are then sent to West Bengal and Gujarat for farming and breeding.