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North Afghanistan opens new air cargo route to Turkey, Europe

AFGHANISTAN has opened another air cargo trade corridor to link the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif with Istanbul and destinations in Europe

North Afghanistan opens new air cargo route to Turkey, Europe

AFGHANISTAN has opened another air cargo trade corridor to link the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif with Istanbul and destinations in Europe

15 January 2019 - 19:00

AFGHANISTAN has opened another air cargo trade corridor to link the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif with Istanbul and destinations in Europe.

An initial flight, carrying five tonnes of dried fruit, was flown by Turkish Airlines to London, following similar routes carrying dried fruit and other products to India and China, where an inaugural cargo of pine nuts was sent in November, reported Reuters.



The new air corridor follows the opening last month of the Lapis Lazuli corridor, a road, rail and sea route from western Afghanistan to Turkey and Europe, part of President Ashraf Ghani's drive to strengthen Afghanistan's trade connections.



'The air corridor has been one of the effective programmes of the national unity government for export development,' said deputy commerce and industry minister Zohoruddin Shirzada. 'Given that Afghanistan is a landlocked country, we must have alternatives,' he said.



Mazar-i-Sharif is one of Afghanistan's most prosperous and economically powerful cities, already a major business hub due to its proximity to the Hairatan border crossing into Uzbekistan.



Afghan officials say the air corridor programme, aimed at opening up an alternative to the land route from the Pakistani port of Karachi, has carried exports of US$100 million since it opened up in 2017.


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