Scheduled flights are those which get their schedule approved by the aviation regulator in advance for a period running into months. Non-scheduled flights are charter flights that are operated as per requirement.
He said non-scheduled cargo flight operations by foreign carriers to and from India are now “restricted to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad” while Indian carriers can still mount non-scheduled cargo flights from any point in the country.
Foreign carriers carry around 90 per cent of the total international cargo to and from India, Puri said on Twitter, adding that no change has been made in the “open sky policy for scheduled cargo operations of Indian or foreign carriers”.
“They (foreign carriers’ scheduled cargo flights) can still fly to/from any point in India, including those in Kerala,” he added.
Earlier during the day, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan met Puri and requested him to add Kochi airport to the list of six airports that are permitted to handle non-scheduled cargo flights of foreign carriers.
Muraleedharan said on Twitter he requested Puri to “take expeditious steps for re-consideration of the changes made in the Open Sky Policy to strengthen exports of agricultural produce”.