Door open for Puneites to travel to SE Asia: Experts

Sushant Ranjan
Saturday, 13 October 2018

New flight
The Pune airport authority had announced that Jet Airways is going to start a flight from Pune to Singapore from December 1 and the distance will be covered in 5 hours and 35 minutes.

Pune: The announcement of starting of air service between Pune and Singapore has given a reason to smile for Puneites as it has opened the door for them to travel not only to South East Asian countries but also other countries, said aviation experts.

On Thursday, the Pune airport authority has announced that Jet Airways is going to start a flight from Pune to Singapore from December 1 and the distance will be covered in 5 hours and 35 minutes.

According to the experts, the Pune-Singapore flight was announced by Singapore-based Silk Airlines in 2012. 

However, it was delayed due to the lethargic approach of Airports Authority of India (AAI) and this delay for almost six years, caused a revenue loss to Pune and to tourists from East Asia.

SK Jain, former president of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and aviation expert, told Sakal Times, “We had initiated to start a flight between these two cities in 2012. The Silk Air was ready to start the service. We approached the Government of India, but the matter was not taken up on a priority basis. Now, the announcement has given a relief to us that finally, the service will be started. This will give a new hope to both cities in terms of tourism, trade, education etc. We have to look beyond Singapore and it will open doors for Puneites.”

Singapore is a convenient global gateway for thousands of tourists, corporates, traders, industrialist, IT professionals, businessmen, students and devotees from Pune and Western Maharashtra to connect to destinations in ASEAN countries, Europe, America and Australia. 

Pune-Singapore is a high yield route with a significant number of passengers travelling in the business class. This flight will be a high demand flight for both passengers and cargo. Another expert Dhairyashil Vandekar said that Pune-Singapore scheduled flight service was first started by Indian Airlines (IA) on December 13, 2005, with an Airbus A320 aircraft. 

“After the termination of Pune-Singapore flight by IA, many airlines were making efforts to operate on this route which was in great demand. However, no other Indian carrier started service on this route. Being a global emerging business destination, a manufacturing and IT hub, Pune has always been on the economic radar of Singapore. Airlines like Singapore Airlines and its subsidiaries like Silk Air were understood to have lobbied with the government for many years for operating on this important sector but somehow, did not succeed,” he said.

“The absence of a direct air link between Pune and Singapore for almost a decade has definitely deprived Pune and Western Maharashtra of the immense growth opportunities that would have opened up otherwise for the trade, commerce, manufacturing, agriculture and industries in and around Pune. Apart from Singapore being one of the most preferred tourist destinations, it is also a preferred business destination due to the operational convenience, transparency, legal and financial stability, business integrity and a neutral cosmopolitan climate that it offers,” Vandekar added.

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