Pune will soon get direct air connectivity with Singapore and flight connections to two other Asian countries are on cards said Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Friday.
At present, the city has direct connectivity with only one international destination, Dubai.
The Ministry of Defence has provided additional 14 flight slots for civil operations from Pune Airport, which is a civil enclave, Scindia said.
With this addition flight slots will now go up to 116 (from the current 102) on weekdays and to 145 (from the current 131) on weekends.
Speaking at an event organised by Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries, and Agriculture in Pune, Scindia said that his ministry will also take efforts to help Pune improve its international connectivity.
“I shocked to learn that Pune has only one international connection to Dubai. We must increase it. I will make it my job to follow up on this. Connectivity to Singapore is our priority. Vistara has already applied to us, we will make the process efficient,” he said.
“The city was pushing to get eight additional slots from the Ministry of Defence as this is a civil enclave. I spoke to Rajnath Singhji and instead of eight we have been given 14 slots per day,” said Scindia.
The work on the expansion of the terminal building at the Lohegaon Airport will be over by August 2023.
The multi-level car parking at the airport will likely be opened by Dussehra this year, the minister said.
He said that although the plan to set up an international air cargo terminal is afoot, it will only be ready by 2024. However, we are expanding the cargo capacity in the existing facilities and it will go up to 43,000 MT from the current capacity of 25,000 MT. The minister said it is important that the state government reduced VAT on air turbine fuel (ATF) to somewhere between 1-4 per cent. After follow-ups, several states and UTs have reduced the VAT amount but Pune and Mumbai continue to charge VAT at 25 per cent.