New Delhi (Sputnik): India and Afghanistan opened another air freight corridor connecting Herat to New Delhi on Monday that will provide support to bilateral trade.
The development is significant in the direction of increased trade linkages between India and Afghanistan and this corridor was opened only a few days after Afghanistan sent the first cargo shipment through the strategic Iranian port of Chabahar.
"In the first flight, 200 kg of saffron and 1600 kg of Pistachio to reach Delhi on Monday", the Indian Consulate in Herat tweeted.
#Herat- #NewDelhi air corridor inaugurated by Governor #AbdulQaiyoumRahimi, Dep Minister #AjmalRahimzai & Consul General @gaurav3730. 200 kg of saffron & 1600 kg of Pistachio 2 reach Delhi today. @IndianEmbKabul @MEAIndia @TOLOnews @sidhant @ANI @IndianDiplomacy @SushmaSwaraj pic.twitter.com/9h5uK62Mb2— India in Herat (@IndianConsHerat) March 11, 2019
India and Afghanistan established a direct air freight corridor connecting Kabul to Delhi on 19 June 2017 after a decision was made in September 2016 in a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. Since then, the corridor also expanded to the Kandahar-New Delhi sector.
The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) recently said that Afghanistan's economic dependency on Pakistan has gone down following the establishment of new alternative trade and transit routes with a number of countries including an air corridor with India.
Earlier, in January, India's Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj said that India would like "to organise a 'dialogue on air corridors' with the participation of civil aviation authorities, air freight and aviation companies of India and Central Asia so that goods, including perishable items, can be transported efficiently and swiftly."