Sunday, June 11, 2017

New airlines look to link Pune to the east


PUNE: Apart from the big players in the aviation industry, the newbies and smaller operators are setting their eyes on the city as well as other airports in the state.

Pune is not well connected to tier II and tier III cities in the east so the new as well as smaller players are trying to cash in on the opportunity by connecting Pune to these cities. Kaustav Dhar, chief executive officer, Zoom Air, the newest airline operator in the country, said, "We shall be connecting Pune with quite a few cities starting July 15. We will connect Pune daily to cities like Jabalpur, Ranchi and Surat."

He added that the airline had been instrumental in providing convenient metro connections to tier II and tier III cities at affordable rates. "With Mumbai being out of bounds due to runway congestion, we opted for Pune as it is high on air travel thanks to substantially large business and leisure travellers and students," Dhar said.

Zoom Air will also introduce international connecting fares at cheaper rates and connect to Delhi, he said. Recently GoAir and IndiGo also started direct flights to Kolkata from Pune. About other airports in Maharashtra, sources in Air Deccan said that presently they were preparing to start operations from four state-based airports with connectivity to Pune and Mumbai.

Representatives of budget airline TruJet, which has already started flight operations from the Nanded airport under the regional connectivity scheme, said that they were trying to be the first to introduce a flight from the newly constructed Shirdi airport.

"We are working on it and our aim is to start the first flight from Shirdi when the airport becomes operational. The logistics for the same is being worked out and things will be clear by next month," an official told

"Though Pune airport is connected to many cities in the east, there are hardly any direct flights. It seems now that airlines, both big and small, are set to address the issue. Direct flights to Kolkata from Pune was important as there are many business fliers," Somesh Ghosh, a businessman said.

Aviation analyst and expert Dhairyasheel Vandekar said, "Being land locked, there was always a demand for air connectivity in the northeastern region. The region has about 23 airports out of which almost 12 are operational." With growing trade and commerce and people from the region moving to other parts of the country, there is a demand for convenient connectivity, Vandekar said.


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