The business community has asked the government to start international flights from Faisalabad – the third largest city of the country and home to the highest number of textile producing units.
Of the total textile exports of $12 billion, the city is contributing more than $4 billion, but the businessmen say they lack the facility of international flights.
“Textile being lifeline of the national economy, it is imperative that essential infrastructure facilities are made available to the exporters,” said Mian Zahid Aslam, President of Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a statement.
He pointed out that Pakistan was losing textile export orders because of absence of international flights to and from Faisalabad as foreign buyers wanted to visit the city but were unable to do so. Instead, they go to Delhi, Mumbai or Singapore and ask Pakistani exporters to come to these places for finalising export orders.
According to Aslam, international flights are also necessary for export of fruits and vegetables from the region with time factor playing a key role in shipment of these perishable goods.
The Faisalabad Airport has been upgraded and infrastructure facilities have been provided by the business and trade circles. Direct Hajj flights from the city have also started. In the face of this, “it will not be difficult to start international flights for various destinations from the city,” Aslam stressed.
He said not only the passengers for Manchester and other destinations were sufficient enough from Faisalabad, but also the cargo shipments, which were being diverted to Lahore and other airports.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 13th, 2012.
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