NATIONAL

Kabul-Mumbai cargo service on

Air to air:Workers load the first plane after the Afghanistan-India air corridor between Kabul and Delhi was inaugurated on June 19.AP  

India and Afghanistan on Wednesday launched an air freight corridor service connecting Kabul with Mumbai. Afghan Vice-President Sarwar Danish flagged off the first flight of the dedicated service from Kabul, six months after a similar corridor connected the city with Delhi.

“The India-Afghanistan Air Corridor expanded today! His Excellency Afghan Vice-President Sarwar Danish inaugurated the first cargo flight from Kabul to Mumbai. Real and unimpeded connectivity for Afghan traders,” said Indian envoy to Kabul Manpreet Vohra on social media.

Now an exhibition

The Afghan media reported that during the ceremony, Mr. Danish commented on the importance of such connectivity initiative. “India also promised to hold exhibition for Afghan traders in Mumbai city and they want to create business chambers.” Deputy Chairman of the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) Khan Jan Alokozay expressed hope that connectivity with India’s commercial capital would increase fruit exports from Afghanistan. “India is not imposing taxes on Afghan traders. We are also trying to send fruits to Amritsar,” the media quoted him saying.

Afghan officials said since the launch of the corridor to New Delhi, fruits and medicines worth $20 million had been imported by India. The air corridor marks an important bilateral development as it comes as Afghanistan joined Pakistan and China in a trilateral talk in Beijing which marked Kabul’s opening up to Islamabad.