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Chandigarh int’l airport: To deal with 4pm airport closure, Air India advances Sharjah departure

Revise your flying plans: Due to runway repair, operations to be curtailed till March 31 with Sunday off; other airlines also in process of re-scheduling flights

punjab Updated: Sep 15, 2017 15:54 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Chandigarh international airport,airport closure,Air India
Air India’s current departure of Chandigarh-Sharjah flight at 5.45pm has been revised to 3.20pm with operation limited from Monday to Saturday. (HT File )

Air India has pre-poned the timing of its Chandigarh-Sharjah flight by two-and-a-half hours from next month in wake of revised working schedule of Chandigarh international airport due to runway repair.The airport is currently operating till 10 pm, but from October 3, it will operate only till 4pm. From this date, all flights will also stand withdrawn on Sundays with the entire day given for repair work. This hit on operations will continue till March 31.

Why runway is being repaired; to take 18 months
  • Repair work is being done to extend its length from 9,000 feet to 10,400 feet so that it is equipped to handle operation of wide-bodied aircrafts.
  • Officials said that once runway length is operated, airlines can start direct flights to US, Europe or Canada
  • Besides this, modern runway stripe will have better lighting system to operate in fog.
  • The repair may take at least 18 months to complete which means that there will be constant restrictions on commercial operation till then.

As a result, Air India’s current departure of Chandigarh-Sharjah flight at 5.45pm has been revised to 3.20pm with operation limited from Monday to Saturday, informed Air India’s local station manager RK Negi.

He also informed that the timings of its Pune and Mumbai flights have also been advanced and they will operate only for five days due to the operational hazard.

“The departure of Chandigarh-Pune flight has been advanced to 9.10am from 10.50am. Similarly, the departure timing of the Chandigarh-Mumbai flight has been revised from 5.40pm to 3.30pm in order to operate within the revised watch hours,” said Negi. The new schedule, he clarified, will come in to force from October 3. There is however no change in Air India’s flight timings to Delhi and Leh.

For IndiGo’s 3.45 pm Dubai flight; take-off could be allowed after 4pm

The departure time for Indigo’s Chandigarh-Dubai flight that leaves at 3.45pm is just 15 minutes ahead of airport’s closing hours at 4pm. Sources said airline officials raised apprehensions of cancellation as delays in the flights do occur in aviation. Since the route started in September 2016, there have been 72 instances of the flight leaving late.

In a submission before the Punjab and Haryana high court, assistant solicitor general of India, Chetan Mittal, submitted that the chief operational officer of the Air Force Station will make necessary adjustments whenever there is a delay in the Chandigarh-Dubai flights.

Revised schedule of other airlines awaited

Even as the revised schedule of other airlines is awaited, several evening flights are set to be cancelled due to the revised schedule. Sources in Jet Airway told HT that the airline operates 10 flights from airport with two of them are late evening flight on Chandigarh-Delhi route at 7.35 pm and 9.35 pm.

“Both are going to be cancelled in our revised scheduled, which is expected very soon,” said an official.

Similarly Spicejet, said sources, may not be able to adjust two of its four flights. An official said that they may cancel its Jaipur and Hyderabad flight, currently operating at 6.10pm and 8.50pm, due to its inability to get advanced slots before 4pm and some internal adjustments.

First Published: Sep 15, 2017 15:53 IST