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Faisal Magray

Imagenation

The King Grounded
Crisis at Jet Airways has put mango exporters in a fix, who cannot afford freight charges of other airlines

The temporary suspension of Jet Airways has a surprise victim: mango exporters. The grounded airline was the preferred choice for major exporters around the country for its competitive freight rates and frequent, dependable connectivity to export-heavy destinations such as the Gulf, US and UK. But, traders are now forced to cut exports of the ‘king of fruits’ by a drastic 40%, owing to the steep rates being levied by other carriers. While Jet Airways sought 80-85 per kilogram, other airlines are now charging anywhere between 105 and 115 per kilogram. Air India, the national carrier, is the most expensive, at 128 per kilogram. This has made mangoes costlier by $1-$1.5 per kilogram, making it prohibitively expensive for a few importers. Meanwhile, in a season of depleted yield, hordes of the golden fruit are lying unsold. Needless to say, it’s a big loss for the nation as importers turn to other countries such as Mexico, China, Thailand and Pakistan for sweeter deals. Last year’s mango exports crossed 49,000 metric tonnes worth nearly $60 million. This year, it is yet to be seen whether traders will cut their losses or find ways to absorb the Jet crisis.

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