Mumbai, Indore, Coimbatore slots still vacant at airport
Airport is facing loss of revenue and passenger footfall
Pune: As all operations of Jet Airways are cancelled across the country, the Pune airport has been facing losses in terms of passengers and revenue. The three major airports which had a direct connection with the city - Mumbai, Indore and Coimbatore - have still not been connected even after five months.
However, officials of Pune airport are trying to convince other airlines to start their service to the above mentioned three cities to boost revenue and footfall. “We requested airlines to restore these routes,” Pune Airport Director Ajay Kumar told Sakal Times.
Kumar added, “These routes were in demand. We have even discussed starting of one service between Pune and Indore.”
In June, the airline surrendered all its 18 slots. Pune airport handed over the slots to other airlines except the above three. The officials gave a time-frame to Jet Airways to resume them, but they failed to do so. After that, the slots were given to other airlines.
According to the officials, “As many as 1,000 passengers (arrival and departure) face loss due to direct connection with these three airports. The footfalls are down and a number of airline services were down. Earlier it was 190 flights operating from Pune airport (both arrival and departure), now it has come down to 180.”
To fly to Europe, the USA and Britain, Pune passengers prefer to take flights from Mumbai.
Indore and Coimbatore are equally important as thousands of people from Indore and Coimbatore prefer direct flights. Now, these passengers are taking other options to reach their destinations.
“The flights to Indore and Coimbatore were also high volume flights as Pune has a healthy business, industrial and cultural affinity with these cities. The sectors had healthy route economics because of sustained demand throughout the year with high occupancy. Because of the non-availability of these flights, passengers are now forced to travel to Indore and Coimbatore via other airports which is not only time consuming but also heavy on the pocket as they have to spend almost double the amount as the direct flight ticket fare,” said aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar.
“Similar was the case of passengers who used to travel to Mumbai for onward international connections. These passengers are forced to spend more time and money, left with the option of either travelling by surface to Mumbai or by flight to airports like Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad for travelling onwards to international destinations,” he said.