National carrier Air India will soon start using the transshipment facility at the city airport for international cargo exports. The move could give a much-needed boost to the dwindling exports from the facility. “The airline had applied for using the transshipment facility at the Pune airport in connection with international cargo exports sometime ago. It has been approved by the customs, but the matter was stuck with the Airports Authority of India (AAI). Things are moving again, and we are looking forward to getting the approval within a fortnight after which we will start the service within a month,” a source told a daily newspaper. 

The Pune airport had started the transshipment facility from March last year. Under this facility, airlines can fly international cargo on domestic flights to airports which have better international connectivity, and then transfer the cargo on international flights. “The international cargo quantity at the Pune airport has slumped mainly due to drop in international connections. Factors like lack of basic infrastructure are also at play. Most exporters are ready to spend extra money and transport goods to Mumbai rather than opt for Pune. The facility needs proper infrastructure,” a source at the airport’s customs department said.