The movement of fresh vegetables and fruits through Air India to the Gulf countries from Thiruvananthapuram have been affected as agri exporters' body Appexa has boycotted the national carrier from May 1, protesting hike in fuel surcharge.
Air India and Air India Express have increased fuel surcharge on perishable items from Rs 9.50 per kg to Rs 15.50 from May 1 for the exports from Thiruvananthapuram Airport and "this is unjustifiable and unwarranted", said Dil Koshy, Secretary of the Agricultural Products and Processed Foods Exporters Association (Appexa).
Meanwhile, reports from the Gulf said that food supplies from India to Oman will be hit following the boycott.
Koshy said, however, actual export of vegetables and fruits to Gulf countries have not been affected as they were now depending on foreign carriers.
An average 72 to 91 tonnes of vegetable and fruits were exported daily through Thiruvananthapuram Airport, he said.
Appexa has made representation to Air India but has not received any positive response, Koshy said.
Stating that Air India's decision was discriminatory in nature, he said the fuel surcharge for perishable goods exported through Kochi and Karipoor Aiport in Kozhikode was less than the fuel surcharge rate at Thiruvananthapuram.