Mid-June 2017 marks the inauguration of Afghanistan-India Air Corridor Program, a historic and unprecedented move, initiated by Afghan government.
Afghan exporters were provided with the opportunity to air freight their goods to Indian markets within hours at a subsidized rate of USD 0.10 Cent per kg, the remaining cost being paid by the Government of Afghanistan.
According to figures released from Export Promotion Department of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the air corridor between Afghanistan and India has witnessed over 500 flights valued at more than USD 120 million, from Kabul and Kandahar to several destinations in India including New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
The closure of Pakistani air space, after escalated tensions between India and Pakistan on February 2019, has inflicted millions of dollars losses to common Afghans as well as business community, causing massive decline in passenger and cargo flight operations.
As Afghanistan is entering its fresh fruits season the concerns mount about the country’s access to regional and international markets. A number of critics have criticized the government for not being able to lobby for an easy access to transit trade through neighboring countries.
During his recent interview with a local TV channel, Head of Fresh Fruit Exporters Association (FFEA) Mr. Akhtar Mohammad claimed that neighboring countries particularly Pakistan deliberately shuts down its commercial routs with Afghanistan during our fruit harvest season. “Each year t