Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, which is operated by Bengaluru International Airport Ltd (BIAL) has emerged as the leading airport for pomegranate exports from India. The airport is said to have processed 180,745 kgs of pomegranates from April to August.
According to the data available from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS), BIAL has also accounted for 99 per cent of the total pomegranate exports from Karnataka.
Global freight carriers such as Air France, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates Airlines, Etihad Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines and Turkish Airlines altogether accounted for most of the uplift.
According to airport officials, so as to retain the freshness and quality of the fruits, the perishables are stored, cleared and moved to the aircraft on priority, with the required temperature controls in place, therefore reducing dwell time at terminals. Cargo terminal operators like Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore and Air India SATS have played a very important role in making it possible.
The cargo infrastructure has been built to ensure the rapid distribution of perishable cargo, making BIAL the preferred cargo airport in South India.
BIAL has two dedicated cold zones– AISATS Coolport with the capacity to handle 40,000 MT per annum and temperature zones ranging from -25 to +250 Celsius under the same roof, across 17 dedicated cold rooms, and Menzies Aviation Bobba Bangalore with the capacity to handle 20,000 MT per annum, across temperatures ranging from +15 to +250 Celsius for 20 ULD pallets and +2 to +80 Celsius for 2 ULD pallets.