Pune’s international airport dream hits air pocket

A year after flights to Dubai and Singapore took off from the Lohegaon airport, the city’s dream of turning into an international destination seems to have hit an air pocket. With no private airlines coming forward to start new flights — mainly due to commercial considerations — even the government run Air India and Indian have ruled out flights to newer destinations in the near future.

While lack of commercial interest is a reason, restrictions on the number of civilian flights by the Indian Air Force (IAF) and paucity of infrastructure at the airport are major factors for airlines staying away from the city. “The airport has reached the saturation level for day time operations with the Air Force not giving permissions for new flights due to their operational requirements. A blanket ban has been put in place for day operations and the only slots left free are from midnight onwards,” an airport official said.

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