Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Stagnancy in international flight sector bothers airport authorities

Pune: The plateau in the number of international flights operating from the Lohegaon airport for years has spoilt the joy of authorities over the frequent increase in domestic operations.
Just four international flights have been operating from the facility for a few years, casting shadow on the future of overseas connections. Two planes connect Dubai (Air India and SpiceJet), one flies to Abu Dhabi (Jet Airways) and another to Frankfurt (Lufthansa).
An official of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) in Pune told TOI, "The number of domestic flights movements from the airport has increased to 164 now. We have been encouraging airlines to start international operations in addition to domestic service. But they are not showing much interest. In diGo was expected to start a flight to a foreign destination but things have not materialized so far."
The authorities opened two duty free shops at the airport to woo airlines to start international flights. But the effort is yet to yield any result.
A senior official of an airline currently operating an international flight from Pune cited the city's proximity to Mumbai and the Lohegaon airport being an establishment of the Air Force as the reasons behind few international flights.
13/09/17 Joy Sengupta/Times of India