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Chandigarh airport’s 20-day closure casts shadow on summer flights

There is no considerable increase in the number of existing flights even as the Centre had recently told the Punjab and Haryana high court  that the airport’s operation hours will increase from March 25.

punjab Updated: Mar 18, 2018 09:42 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh airport,20-day closure,summer flights
The only silver lining is the new sector — Ahmedabad to Srinagar via Chandigarh — added by GoAir.(HT File )

The 20-day closure for runway work scheduled in May took its toll on the number of flights announced in the summer schedule released by Chandigarh International Airport on Saturday.

It will remain in force from March 25 to October 27.

There is no considerable increase in the number of existing flights even as the Centre had recently told the Punjab and Haryana high court that the airport’s operation hours will increase from March 25. With the closing time moving from 4pm to 5.30pm, the airport was expected to accommodate at least 10 more flights.

The only silver lining is the new sector — Ahmedabad to Srinagar via Chandigarh — added by GoAir.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet has removed its Hyderabadflight from the summer schedule. In the winter schedule, it was listed at 10.50am. The airline has also truncated its Delhi-Chandigarh-Srinagar flight by confining it to Chandigarh-Srinagar.

So far, only 25 flights have been announced. Air India, which operates six flights — including two to Bangkok and Sharjah — is still to come out with its schedule, but its officials say there will be no major change.

This clearly indicates that the total flights will not be more than 32 in comparison to 30 flights operating at present. An airline official, not wishing to be named, said the domestic circuit is interconnected with two to three cities.

“Most of the airlines stayed away from new flights because they will have to shut operations for 20 days in May. It will affect interconnectivity with other cities,” he said.

Airlines are expected to commence more flights once operations become stable, which are currently disturbed because of back-to-back closures. The first closure in February this year lasted for 15 days. The second is scheduled from May 12 to May 31.

First Published: Mar 18, 2018 09:42 IST