Exporters from the region have been left high and dry after Air Asia, the top cargo-lifting carrier at Trichy international airport, temporarily stopped the booking of consignments from Saturday. This has also come as a big blow for the cargo officials who had set a target of 7,000 metric tonnes for the financial year.
Since Saturday, three Air Asia flights had flown without carrying any export cargo instead of an average 10 tonnes they used to lift. Export commodities handled include assorted vegetables, flowers, fruits, fish and others. Cargo is lifted by Sri Lankan Airlines, Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Air India Express and Malindo to various overseas destinations like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, Colombo and Sharjah.
When contacted, senior Air Asia officials at Trichy airport said they have been asked not to book any consignments till further notification. However, according to sources, an issue over the General Services Agreement pertaining to monetary settlements and the appointment of staff for the Indian subcontinent and other areas in Kuala Lumpur, has led to the airline's decision in this regard.