Pune: There have been several incidents of delay in flights at the Pune airport recently. Some of these delays were caused due to a damaged part of the aircraft, such as windshield or a wheel requiring to be replaced on arrival in Pune. A city-based aviation expert said a spares store is needed at the Pune airport.
“Such spares had to be arranged from other stations as these aircraft spares were not available locally. This resulted in inordinate delays and severe inconvenience to passengers. Many of the passengers had important appointments, meetings and functions to attend while some had onward connecting flights, which they obviously missed,” said aviation expert and analyst Dhairyashil Vandekar.
“Passengers at the receiving end of such delays have often asked airlines as to why they do not have a more efficient system for arranging such spares or why they can’t stock them at the stations, which would have avoided hardships caused to passengers during such situations,” he said.
It has been observed that passengers get frustrated as airlines do not inform them about the delay. Authorities also keep changing the estimated departure time. Many passengers often get a patent reply from airline officials that their engineers are working to solve the issue.
Often, after 2-3 hours, the aircraft is grounded, requiring spares that need to be flown in from some other station. Passengers get really frustrated in such a situation and want to know why the airline takes so long to realise that the aircraft is non-operational. They could make some alternate arrangements in the lost time.
“However, there are cases when an aircraft requiring change of a wheel assembly, which would have been a minor delay, results in an inordinate delay as the wheel assembly is not available with the airline at the Pune airport. For this, the airlines must ensure that at least a stock of such components and those as recommended by the manufacturer is available at mini-metro stations like Pune. This will not only check delays but will also avoid inconvenience caused to passengers and revenue loss for facilitation of passengers and settlement of their claims,” Vandekar said.