Pune airport in Lohegaon is expected to start international flight from January 7 with flight for Sharjah. The international flight operations at Pune airport were completely shut since March 2020 due to the Covid outbreak.
‘Flight for Sharjah may take off from Pune International Airport on January 7, we are waiting for final confirmation.
Airport is ready to resume international flight operations,’ said an airport official on request of anonymity.
Before the first lockdown, Pune airport had two international flights to Dubai which were operated by SpiceJet and Air India Express.
‘We are expecting more flights for gulf countries, however, now due to the Omicron threat many countries have altered travelling policies which has impacted the pre-planned schedule which we wanted to implement from January 2022. Now the plans will be delayed, but many airlines have shown interest to start international flights from Pune airport,’ the official said.
On the last day of 2020, 17,105 passengers took flight from Pune airport. 9,665 arrived while 7,440 departed from 68 flights.
‘The passenger movement reached up to 22,000 on few occasions during December. We were expecting higher footfall during the new year, but impact of Omicron has made the difference,’ he said.
Pune always had international flights for gulf countries and the airport is expecting the same once service resumes.
Once the international flight service resumes, decision on whether Sharjah return passengers will have to take seven days quarantine will be decided in a few days.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has made seven days home quarantine compulsory for flyers coming from the United Arab Emirates and they have to go for compulsory RT-PCR test at the airport even if they are fully vaccinated on arrival.
Atiq Shaik, regular flyer to Sharjah, said, ‘I have booked my ticket from Mumbai. If flight service restarts then I may book my return flight for February at Pune airport as it will be more convenient.’