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Air cargo route opens from northern Afghanistan to Turkey, Europe

Reuters  |  MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan 

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, (Reuters) - opened the latest in a series of air cargo trade corridors on Wednesday with the inauguration of a route linking the northern city of with and destinations in

An initial flight, carrying five tonnes of dried fruit, was sent on a flight to London, following similar routes carrying dried fruit and other products to and China, where an inaugural cargo of pine nuts was sent in November.

"The air corridor has been one of the effective programmes of the for export development," said

"Given that is a landlocked country, we must have alternatives," he said.

is one of Afghanistan's most prosperous and economically powerful cities, already a major business hub because of its proximity to the Hairatan border crossing into

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 more than $100 million since it opened up in 2017.

The new air corridor follows the opening last month of the so-called Lapis Lazuli corridor, a road, rail and sea route from to and Europe, part of Ashraf Ghani's push to build up Afghanistan's trade connections.

(Reporting by Abdul Matin Sahak; writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by Nick Macfie)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, January 09 2019. 18:26 IST