Monday, July 10, 2017

Shirdi, Nanded flight connections to Mumbai airport yet to take off

Mumbai: Flight services from Nanded and Shirdi to Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) have still not started. By the first week of July, Nanded airport was to be connected to CSIA under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), while Shirdi airport was to start several airline services to Mumbai. While officials said Shirdi airport has not yet received the operational licence to start flights, the situation at Nanded airport was much more muddled. Regional carrier TruJet has been operating flights under RCS between Nanded’s Shri Guru Gobind Singh Ji Airport and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad since April and this route was expected to be extended to Mumbai.
TruJet officials said pending corrective work on the airport runway was stopping them from starting the service to Mumbai, whereas airport officials insisted there was nothing wrong with the runway and that a dearth of aircraft and pilots in the airline was behind the delay. TruJet officials said running additional flights on the runway could damage it. “At present, we fly one flight per day between Nanded and Hyderabad airports on the single runway. We have been told that running two aircraft every day on that runway could damage it. We are waiting for clearances from airport authorities as far as runway work is concerned,” said a TruJet official.
“We were going to suspend the present operational plan between Nanded and Hyderabad due to the runway problem. However, we have avoided doing so because we received a positive response after we started this route. They have promised us to complete the work by this month’s end,” the official added. However, officials from Nanded airport say they are waiting for a final call from the airline to begin their operations. “As far as infrastructure is concerned, the airport is completely ready. It can take four flights per day and allows travel to 1.5 million passengers per annum. There is no operational constraint,” said Manoj Veettil, Nanded airport manager.
10/07/17 Neha Kulkarni/Indian Express

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