No direct air link to 15 cities from Pune

Sushant Ranjan
Tuesday, 3 December 2019

These destinations are in high demand as people from these places are residing in the city and the residents often visit these places. However, due to a lack of direct connection, the passengers choose break journey or go via other airports. These include Raipur, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Indore, Varanasi, Amritsar, Mangalore, Port Blair, Trichi, Guwahati, Agartala, Udaipur, Surat, Baroda and Dehradun.

PUNE: In the last three years, Pune airport has become one of the fastest-growing airports in the country in terms of passenger growth and facilities provided for them. 

However, the airport is still not connected to some of the famous destinations due to limited slots. As the Pune airport is a civil enclave adjacent to the Indian Air Force (IAF) base, it has fixed day and night slots. The airport does not have direct connectivity to 15 destinations, including Bhubaneshwar, Amritsar, Guwahati and Dehradun.

At present, the Pune airport manages around 30,000 passenger footfalls daily with around 120 departures and arrivals, of which, 90 are during the night. There are certain Jet Airways slots for Mumbai, Indore and Singapore which are still vacant.

“Due to recarpeting, the number of flights has been restricted per hour at night and the restrictions are already there during the day. When Jet Airways was operational, it had 50 flights at night. Now, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has reduced the number of departures after 10.30 pm. Only 5 arrivals and 5 departures take place every hour at Pune airport between 10.30 pm and 6 am,” said Pune airport Director Ajay Kumar.

“We are requesting the IAF to increase day slots to 60 departures between 6 am to 10.30 pm as the airport has sizeable traffic potential. At present, it does not have a direct connection to 15 destinations,” added Ajay Kumar.

These destinations are in high demand as people from these places are residing in the city. However, due to a lack of direct connection, the passengers choose break journey or go via other airports. These include Raipur, Bhubaneshwar, Patna, Indore, Varanasi, Amritsar, Mangalore, Port Blair, Trichi, Guwahati, Agartala, Udaipur, Surat, Baroda and Dehradun.

Also, the airlines have stopped operations to some destinations, which were earlier connected from Pune due to odd timings. Two airlines used to operate from Pune to Patna earlier. However, due to the night slots, the flights could not be filled to their capacity. The flights departed after 1 am (night) and arrived in Patna at around 3 am. Many passengers were not taking the flight due to this odd time. Similarly, the operation for Varanasi was stopped as they were given night slots. Many airlines are not starting operations, as they have been allotted night slots.

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