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Tulsi Plan Would Hub India

(New Delhi Exclusive)—When writing about how women are changing air cargo for the better, by in many cases, taking charge India-based Blue Dart Express Managing Director Tulsi Mirchandaney must be considered both world leader in every respect for her forward thoughts and hands on approach toward building a great business.
     She also operates with a sense of purpose about her country and the air cargo community and in that she is above all unique.
     There are many in the cargo business here who have been propagating that India establishes itself as a regional cargo hub.
     Now, with the downturn in the economy, that thinking process is gaining momentum.
     Tulsi Mirchandaney talking to Air Cargo News FlyingTypers said:
     “Cargo has been and is perceived by both passenger airlines and most airports from the singular, narrow viewpoint of short-term revenues.
      “Perhaps, its role in facilitating trade and business, and, therefore, having a major impact on the economic development of the region is not immediately apparent.”
     She pointed out that there are indeed a few exceptions of governments and airports that have displayed foresight, had a long-term vision and set up bustling centers of commerce.
     These, she said, were now reaping the benefits.
     She emphasized that India could get on to a new growth phase
     “That can be achieved by transforming ourselves into a major regional hub.
     “We are ideally positioned to stake our claim to this position and should, before it is too late.
     “The points in India’s favor are our unique geographical location, ideally positioned between Asia and Europe.
     “Our economy is driven by domestic consumption.
     “Unlike most other hubs, India has the power to consume and not just transship commodities through our airports.
     “In addition, we have a well-developed domestic air network and a large number of airports to service a wide geography.”
     She also said that the proposed FTA with the ASEAN members is expected to boost bilateral trade from the current estimated US$ 38 billion to around US$ 50 billion by 2010.
     Blue Dart Aviation Limited is a public limited Company incorporated under the Indian Companies Act, 1956 having its registered office at Mumbai and head office at Chennai.
     Blue Dart, the only jet express India flag carrier operates B737-200 and B757-200 freighters ex-Chennai, Kolkatta, Bangalore, Delhi connecting Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Kolkatta.
     Blue Dart is a leader here in the domestic air express market specializing in time-definite scheduled freight services for overnight next day delivery of express and cargo.
     “Most aviation pundits believe that India has the potential to become a regional hub not unlike Dubai or Singapore.
     “They say that India could take lessons from the success of other hubs and adapt them to the Indian situation.
     “Successful hubs like Singapore and Frankfurt have registered steady growth despite world crises such as the Gulf War, 9/11 and SARS, amongst others,” said Ms. Mirchandaney.
     As to where such a regional hub could be located, most industry stalwarts are of the view that two significant catchment areas with important industries at close proximity are Navi Mumbai and Chennai.
     Both are important airports and seaports, offering rail and road connectivity.
     “But regardless of whether the manufacturing is for export or domestic consumption, or whether it is for import or re-export, domestic distribution, there will always be a requirement for air connectivity.
     “India, especially Delhi, has the potential to become a global hub for air cargo.
     “Delhi’s geographical location and the substantial amount of international trade carried out in the city, in addition to its growth in the manufacturing sector as well as in exports and imports are all factors that could eventually see our success,” Tulsi Mirchandaney said.
Tirthankar Ghosh