Landlocked Afghanistan on Wednesday, inaugurated an air cargo route linking the city of Mazar-i-Sharif with Istanbul and destinations in Europe, as an alternative to the land route from the Pakistani port of Karachi.
The opening of the route is the latest in the series air cargo trade corridors with an inaugural cargo of pine nuts sent to India and China in November 2018.
“The air corridor has been one of the effective programs of the national unity government for export development.
“Given that Afghanistan is a landlocked country, we must have alternatives,” Deputy Commerce and Industry Minister, Zohoruddin Shirzada said.
Afghan officials say the air corridor program 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 western Afghanistan to Turkey and Europe, part of President Ashraf Ghani’s push to build up Afghanistan’s trade connections.