Number of international flyers down by 20 per cent at Pune airport
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Number of international flyers down by 20 per cent at Pune airport

The reason for the decline in number according to officials is that Lufthansa airlines had stopped its operations due to some technical reasons for three months

pune Updated: Nov 27, 2018 14:12 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Lohegaon airport,international flyers
A file photo of passengers at the Lohegaon international airport. (HT PHOTO)

According to the report released by the airports authority of India (AAI) last month, the number of international passengers flying from Lohegaon airport between April to September this year has gone down by nearly 20 per cent as compared to last year. The reason for the decline in number according to officials is that Lufthansa airlines had stopped its operations due to some technical reasons for three months when the survey was conducted.

While the number of flyers in the first six months of the fiscal year of 2017, which is calculated from April to September was 1, 40, 122, the count of international flyers in the first six months of the current fiscal year is 1, 11, 125.

Ajay Kumar, airport director, Lohegaon airport, said, “The demand for international operations from the airport in the city is very high. However, there has been a dip in the number of international flyers in the AAI report as Lufthansa airlines was not operating its flight to Frankfurt for nearly three months owing to some non-availability of equipments.”

At present, four international flights, two to Dubai (Air India and SpiceJet), one to Abu Dhabi (Jet Airways) and one to Frankfurt (Lufthansa) operate from the Pune airport

The passenger occupancy in the Lufthansa flight to Frankfurt is good, however, as there were no operations, the number of flyers fell significantly, said Kumar.

“Now that the operations to Frankfurt have begun, the number of passengers will certainly go up,” he added informing that a new Jet Airways flight to Singapore will commence from December which will further increase the number of international flyers from Pune airport in the remaining six months of the current fiscal year.

Currently, Lohegaon airport handles around 200 flight operations daily with an average footfall between 15,000 to 20,000 people. The total footfall of flyers from the airport in the city last year was 82 lakh.

Pune airport to get 10 more check-in counters

The airport authority of India (AAI), Pune, plans to add 10 more check-in counters at the Pune airport following complaints by flyers.

One of the most common complaints by the passengers flying from the Lohegaon airport is the long-standing queues near the check-in counters at the airport.

Currently, Lohegaon airport handles around 200 flight operations daily with an average footfall between 15,000 to 20,000 people; however, there are only 52 check-in counters at the airport.

Pratik Jainabadkar, a frequent flyer from the Pune airport, said, “During the peak hours of the day, it takes roughly over 20 minutes at one check-in counter at the Pune airport. Although all the ground staff of respective airlines is efficient and quick in their work, however, a large number of passengers leads to long queues.”

Neha Chhabra, a flyer took to twitter and said, “Unbelievable crowd at Pune airport. The queue for IndiGo6E is close to 100 people at least. Please open more counters.”

However, catering to the consistent complaints made by the flyers, the AAI has planned to add another 10 check-in counters at the Lohegaon airport to ensure the existing congested check-in counters are decongested.

Ajay Kumar, airport director, Lohegaon airport, said, “Currently we have a total of 52 check-in counters at the Pune airport. In the next one year, we plan to open 10 more check-in counters at the Pune airport which will make it to a total of 62 counters. We are hopeful that the existing queues at the check-in counters will mitigate once all the new counters become operational.”

First Published: Nov 26, 2018 15:13 IST