KARACHI  -  In a move to ease pressures on the mango exports amid the global shut down due to COVID-19, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced one third price reduction in Air Cargo Tariff pertaining to the mango uplift from Pakistan.

The decision was taken after a series of talks between the PIA team led by CEO PIA himself, Air Marshal Arshad Malik and teams from All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association and a joint collaboration between Academia and Mango Farmers and Growers discussing the possibilities of recuperating the struggling domestic fruit and vegetable export market, said a statement on Thursday.

Earlier on the same group had called upon the Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser who coordinated the meet up between PIA and them.

Pakistan annually exports around 10,000 metric tonnes of high quality mangoes by air, mostly to different destinations in Europe, the Americas, Gulf and Middle East Region, earning handsome foreign exchange for the county.

Pakistani Mango also termed as the King of Fruits is considered as a rare and extremely sought after delicacy around the world, known for its sweetness and quality.

Unlike Kino, the shelf life of mango is very less hence export by air is the only option. PIA is the market leader of this segment, with more than 50 per cent share of the market, hence PIA’s contribution in this regard is of paramount importance.

However with COVID 19 global economic meltdown and lockdowns, the growers were seeking support from the government for any stimulus in this regard.

Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan had personally directed CEO PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik to analyze and lead the high level initiative.

Hence  in order to jump start the export process early and to ensure that the produce is not impacted by the prevalent crisis, it has been decided by PIA that effective immediately the air cargo tariff for exporting mangoes shall be reduced by up to 30 percent in different weight slots.

This will facilitate and ease off pressure on mango growers already suffering from locust infestation and COVID-19 lockdowns or restrictions across the globe.

This is yet another step taken by the National Flag carrier from a series aimed at promoting Pakistan and its products in support of the government and rising to the occasion at the time of need.

PIA has been contributing significantly to the National cause since the outbreak of the pandemic especially in repatriating stranded Pakistanis back home.

As of date over 101,000  passengers and hundreds of human remains have been repatriated in a span spreading over a period of 72 days, operating 720 flights, most of which operated ferry to designated destinations in national service.