Spike in passengers flying out of Pune as Covid restrictions kick in
PUNE There has been a considerable rise in the number of passengers travelling out from Pune via air. On an average, daily, 4,500 to 5,000 passengers depart from Pune to various parts of the country from the Lohegaon airport.
On April 9, 6,007 passengers flew out from Pune, the highest single-day figure for April so far.
The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is taking strict safety precautions at the Pune airport for passengers.
As per data shared by AAI Pune, on April 1 the arriving passengers were 4,434, which then remained constant throughout the week.
Departing passengers have seen a gradual increase, with 5,560 passengers leaving on April 1; and 6,007 passengers departing on April 9.
Speaking anonymously, an AAI official at the arrivals lounge at Lohegaon airport said, “As Covid cases surge in Pune, air traffic, especially the outgoing passengers, is on the rise for the last 10 days. Daily it is touching 5,000, with over 50 on an average flight from the airport. We are taking all the safety precautions at the airport and follow Covid protocols given by the central government.”
Usually the daily schedule of arrivals and departures from the Lohegaon airport starts from 8 am and goes on till 7 pm. There is flight movement to and from destinations like Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Patna, Kolkata, Lucknow, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, and Kochi.
Manjeet Singh, a post graduate student, said, “I returned to Lucknow two days back via a flight, as the situation is getting worse here. Already our college classes were online, so it was better to go back to my hometown and study from there rather than staying in Pune.”
Another passenger, Smita Baneerje, who is planning to go back to Kolkata, said, “I have booked my air tickets for April 14 to go back to home. I had taken leave for 15 days from my job and if necessary I will work from home.”