First cargo shipment from Pune to Singapore by Air Vistara released
This was Air Vistara’s first nonstop flight from Pune to Singapore, with the aircraft being an Airbus A321neo, and the flight will be operated four times a week
The first cargo shipment from Pune to Singapore - consisting of 1,650 kg of fresh, assorted Indian vegetables and fruits - was loaded on an Air Vistara flight from Pune to Singapore last night, according to the Airport Authority of India (AAI). While this is just the beginning of international cargo services from Pune to Singapore, traders and industrialists are demanding that the capacity of cargo services at Pune airport be increased.
This was Air Vistara’s first nonstop flight from Pune to Singapore, with the aircraft being an Airbus A321neo, and the flight will be operated four times a week. Every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, the nonstop flight will depart from Pune at 02.10 hours and reach Singapore at 10.30 hours.
Santosh Doke, Pune airport director, said, “It is an encouraging and positive moment for all of us to start this international cargo service from Pune to Singapore through this flight. All the arrangements and necessary facilities for cargo services are there at Pune airport and its current capacity for the Singapore flight is up to 2 tonnes of cargo goods. Hopefully in future, this cargo service will run to its full capacity.”
Currently, the AAI has started the process of moving the cargo facility to a new space within the Pune airport premises. The capacity of the new cargo terminal will be 36,000 tonnes once it becomes operational in March 2023. The operations of this new cargo facility will be monitored by another branch of the AAI called ‘AAI Cargo Logistics and Allied Services Company’. The aviation ministry is carrying out work on various extension projects at Lohegaon airport since the last two years.
Doke said, “We have started the work of shifting the old cargo terminal to the new place within the airport premises and hopefully by March 2023, the new cargo facility space will be operational. Once the cargo facility is completely shifted to this new space, the capacity of daily cargo transportation will increase considerably and we can also connect with more domestic and international destinations.”
Meanwhile, traders in Pune are demanding that the number of international flights from and the space for cargo services at Pune airport be increased. Manoj Rathi, a fruit vendor from Market Yard, said, “We have regular demand and orders from various Gulf countries for fruits from India but as we do not have direct flights from Pune, we have to send them from Mumbai airport. If the storage capacity and number of international destinations is increased, it will be beneficial for us.”