Outgoing air passengers outnumber incoming flyers at Pune’s Lohegaon airport
The number of flyers leaving the city surpassed those landing at Lohegaon airport, as limited number of domestic flights resumed operations from May 25.
On Saturday, 745 persons arrived through 10 flights, whereas 1,148 left the city through eight flights.
As of May 30, 3,676 passengers arrived in Pune, while 7,563 flew out of the city. As per the numbers shared by Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh, for every one passenger who arrived in the city, two have left Pune.
With the number of Covid-19 cases rising in the city and costly road travel, people have preferred to fly and most of them are returning to their native places, said an aviation expert.
As per information shared by Singh, on May 25, the first day when the domestic flight services resumed across the country after almost two months, 672 passengers arrived in the city through nine flights while 985 left the city through eight flights. On May 26, 719 arrived in the city through 14 flights while 1,434 left the city through 14 flights; on May 27, 663 came into the city through 14 flights while 1,364 left the city through 13 flights and on May 28, 552 arrived in the city through 12 flights and 1,313 left the city through 12 flights.
According to Dhairyashil Vandekar, an aviation expert, although airports have started functioning, they must streamline the state policies regarding airports and those arriving through flights. And since the first transmission of the virus in the country happened through flight, safety precautions and screening must be given highest priority.
She said, “Pune is a commercial and education hub and so we have many who have migrated to the city, which is now a Covid-19 hotspot. So, it is obvious that people want to leave the city. Those leaving the city are the ones who did not find rail or road travel safe and can now travel via a flight which is not only the fastest means of transport, but also the safest.”
“The state government must now come with a common policy for those arriving through flights from red zone districts instead of completely banning flights. The situation is still evolving and new developments will keep coming in. Also, in addition to thermal scanning the passengers, airports must also opt for pulse oxymeters to screen fliers,” Vandekar said.
According to officials, a total of 1.16 lakh people left Pune district via 91 trains since the lockdown began. A total of 37 trains carrying 47,000 passengers travelled to Uttar Pradesh, while 23 trains carrying 30,000 passengers travelled to Bihar. The remaining trains were scheduled to travel to various other states.
Back to the sky
Date arrival pax departure pax arrival flights departure flights
May 25 672 985 9 8
May 26 719 1,434 14 14
May 27 663 1,364 14 13
May 28 552 1,313 12 12
May 29 525 1,390 13 12
May 30 745 1,148 10 8