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SATS Indian joint venture starts trial operations for perishable cargo handling centre

A SATS joint venture in India has started trial operations of the country's first integrated on-airport perishable cargo handling centre on Wednesday.

The food solutions and gateway services group said in a release on Thursday that Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd (AISATS) has started trials in the 11,000 square metre AISATS Coolport at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.

AISATS is a 50-50 joint venture between Air India Limited and SATS. It started operations in 2008, and employs over 7,000 staff.

The Bengaluru facility is aimed at meeting increasing demands and handling requirements of temperature-sensitive cargo in the state of Karnataka.

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It has a handling capacity of 40,000 tonnes per annum, and will cater to a range of perishable commodities such as pharmaceutical products, fruits, vegetables, poultry, seafood and flowers.

It is customised to offer cold storage solutions with 17 dedicated cold rooms with adjustable temperatures ranging from -25 to 25 degrees Celsius.

The integrated facility will house a state-of-the-art drug controller laboratory as well as a plant quarantine inspection and certification office.

It will be supplemented by temperature-controlled queue lanes for unitised shipments and cool trollies to ensure the integrity of the cold chain from AISATS Coolport to the aircraft and vice versa.

SATS' share price was down seven Singapore cents to close on Thursday at S$4.98.