New Delhi: Foreign airlines carry a whopping 82 percent of India's air cargo traffic, which is projected to grow at 10-12 percent rate over the next five years.

Official figures showed foreign carriers flew out 83.1 percent of international cargo from India in 2009-10, 83.7 percent in 2010-11 and 82.5 percent in 2011-12.

Indian carriers marginally increased their presence in this area raising their cargo carriage vis-a-vis their foreign competitors from 16.9 and 16.3 percent in 2009-10 and 2010-11 to 17.5 percent in 2011-12, the data showed.

The percentage share of domestic cargo carried by all the private carriers put together was 79.8, 81.4 and 83.8 percent during the same period, as Air India's share declined from 20.2, 18.6 and 16.2 percent.

Expressing concern that almost the entire chunk of international air cargo from India were being carried by foreign carriers, official sources said while most airlines carried cargo in aircraft bellies, there was negligible presence of dedicated cargo airlines in the country.

All major airports, from where majority of air cargo is flown out, also saw a decline of 12.3 percent in cargo handling in 2011-12, primarily due to the global slowdown and the Eurozone crunch, the sources said. These airports were Chennai, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram, Delhi and Mumbai.

While total cargo handled at these and other airports had grown by 11.8 percent in 2009-10 and 7.1 percent in 2010-11, but declined by 12.3 percent last year, the data showed.


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