Thursday, April 15, 2021

IAF defers Pune airport’s closure for two weeks

Pune: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has deferred the total runway closure of the Pune airport for recarpeting between April 26 and May 9. New dates will be announced soon, an airport official said.

“We received a communication from the IAF on Wednesday evening, which stated that the closure has been deferred. We don’t exactly know the reasons behind the decision. The IAF, in its communication, said fresh dates of the closure will be announced later. We have sent out the information to all the airlines operating from Pune,” a senior airport official told TOI.

The airport is a part of the IAF’s base at Lohegaon and controls the 2,530 metre runway. “We had been requesting the IAF to defer the total runway closure due to the rise in Covid-19 cases. Now, with the closure having been deferred, airlines can plan their flights. We are hoping for flight movements to increase after the decision. It will also come as a relief for many flyers who had booked tickets during the period and were in a fix,” another official said.

As of now, passenger flights are operating for 12 hours (8am to 8pm) ever since the runway recarpeting work started at the airport last year. “I had booked four tickets last month for travel on April 28 without knowing about the closure. This is a big relief for me as I spent almost Rs. 40,000 (both ways) on fare,” Shirish S, a flyer, told TOI.

15/04/21 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

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