Turkish Airlines to manage Pakistan’s vegetable, fruit exports after PIA ban
The Turkish Airlines' GM assured the exporters that freight charges will be reduced.Turki
While Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight operations to Europe remains suspended, Turkish Airlines has offered its services to transport Pakistani vegetable and fruit exports to other countries.
According to fruit and vegetable exporters, Turkish Airlines will charge lower freight charges for transporting Pakistani fruits and vegetables to England, Germany, and other western countries and has assured that it will facilitate the promotion of Pakistani fruit and vegetable exports.
Earlier this month, the European Union Air Safety Agency (EASA) imposed a six-month ban on PIA’s flight operations to Europe after reports emerged that around 262 PIA pilots held dubious flying licenses.
Among other issues, the ban created problems for the export of Pakistani vegetables and fruits. In this regard, the Commercial Counselor of the Pakistani Embassy in Istanbul Bilal Khan Pasha, met with Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci.
The Chairman assured that Turkish Airlines will resume its flight operation in Pakistan and will help in the export of fruits and vegetables to the European Union (EU).
Moreover, a delegation of exporters led by Waheed Ahmed, the head of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) met with Turkish Airlines General Manager (GM) Gurhan Sozen.
According to Waheed Ahmed, PIA had recently reduced freight charges to assist exporters in reducing the cost of export shipments. However, after the six-month ban on PIA, exporters will have to use the services of foreign airlines who might charge higher freight charges.
According to exporters, during the meeting with Turkish Airlines’ GM, the need for a reduction in freight charges and provision of special handling facilities for perishable cargo to facilitate the export of Pakistani fruits and vegetables to Europe, the UK, and Canada was stressed.
Exporters further stated that Pakistan’s economy is under immense pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which can be mitigated by enhancing the country’s exports. They assured that exporters are keen to export fruits and vegetables through Turkish Airlines on a long term basis.
The Turkish Airlines’ GM assured the exporters that freight charges will be reduced and that the airline will provide excellent ground handling facilities for export shipments.
He also requested the PFVA to provide details of export volume so that the space required for each export shipment can be estimated and planned accordingly.
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