Sunday, October 10, 2021

Punekars grounded during peak festive time as airport goes off the radar for 14 days

The Pune Airport recently announced that it will temporarily cease operations from October 16-29 due to runway re-carpeting work. This has dealt a blow to the travel plans of people who were to fly out of the city during this period, which also falls during the peak festive season. Pune Airport director Santosh Dhoke confirmed the news, and shared that no flights will be able to take off or land during the period. The officials have further requested passengers to check with respective airlines for rescheduling details.

Unhappy with this sudden decision of the airport authorities, passengers whose travel plans will be upended, have taken to social media, urging the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Pune International Airport and Ministry of Civil Aviation, to reconsider the decision. While the decision has caused confusion and unrest among passengers, airlines and airport authorities say it also means incurring heavy losses during the peak festive season.

Passengers are requested to check with their respective airlines for cancellation and rescheduling of flights:

“The decision was announced just 10 days before the closing of the airport. Had we been informed a month prior, it would have at least been convenient for us to reschedule our flights,” says Durga Wankhede, who along with her family was planning to travel to Thailand on October 20. Expressing her displeasure, she adds, “Cancelling the entire trip means losing out on a lot of money, hotel bookings etc. So, instead of cancelling the trip, we are taking a flight from Mumbai, but will end up paying extra fare for the same.”

For Rahul Mukherjee, long weekends meant taking a short trip to Goa. The IT professional, who had a holiday on October 15, for Dusshera, says he feels ‘annoyed’ and ‘cheated’. “Sure, one can always drive to Goa, but while taking short trips during weekends, I prefer taking a flight to save travel time. With the airport being shut, travelling to Mumbai and taking another flight means spending more time and money. Driving for 10-12 hours to reach Goa and spending the same number of hours to return doesn’t seem like a great idea when you are pressed for time,” says the 28-year-old who has thus rescheduled his travel plans to November.

Travellers took to social media to express concerns and disappointment. Many who have important family events to attend or had planned to travel to their hometowns from Pune for the festive season have been compelled to travel to other cities like Delhi, Bhopal, Nagpur etc and take flights from there. Sanjay Pillai, who is originally from Chennai, says, “There are a lot of issues with getting flight tickets from Mumbai in your desired airline and preferred date. So, I have decided to travel to Delhi by train and then fly to Chennai as I have to attend my sister’s wedding on October 23.”

10/10/21 Amrita Pradad/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment