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Hyderabad International Airport handled its first ever commercial cargo service from Russia with the landing of a freight aircraft of Aeroflot Airlines, the national carrier and the largest airline, airport officials said on Wednesday.
The Aeroflot freight plane from Moscow landed at Hyderabad Airport on 11.17 a.m. on Tuesday and departed at 12.03 a.m. on Wednesday.
This is the first time a commercial B777 Passenger to Cargo (P to C) flight landed at Hyderabad International Airport to uplift the pharmaceuticals to Moscow.
This aircraft carried about 20 different types of medicines and vaccines and took off with a full load of approx 50 tons both in belly as well as fastened cargo-on-seats. This was a one of its kind wide-body 'P to C' Cargo flight movement for Hyderabad, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), the airport operator said.
Currently, the service of Aeroflot freighter is limited to the Covid-19 Lockdown period. Hyderabad International Airport is pursuing to have a regular weekly frequency of this freighter, which if works out, will enable a direct connectivity of Hyderabad to Russia and other Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. CIS countries have a major demand for pharmaceuticals and this freighter can open up a direct gateway to the CIS countries.
This sector also has a demand for aerospace, engineering and general cargo.
Aeroflot has been operating since 1923, making it to be one of the oldest active airlines in the world. The airline flies to 146 destinations in 52 countries.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, GMR Hyderabad Air Cargo handled all kinds of goods including essential and perishable products along with Covid19 relief material, pharmaceuticals, engineering, IT, aerospace, perishables and console cargo. Since the commencement of the lockdown, the airport has so far handled approximately 5,500 tons of cargo.
Recently, GMR Hyderabad International Airport has also handled an Ethiopian Freighter, a first direct flight connecting Hyderabad to Africa. This new connection has ushered a new trade lane for Hyderabad with the markets in Africa and beyond leveraging the robust cargo network of the Ethiopian Airlines.