Pune: A tough competition is on the cards for three airlines if they want to clinch the two international slots that have fallen vacant at Pune Airport due to the grounding of Jet Airways.
The civil aviation ministry has asked the airlines to submit their flight induction plans for international slots.
“Vistara is looking forward to commence its international operation. The airline has evinced interest in starting Pune-Singapore flight. IndiGo’s plan to start a flight from Pune to Dubai didn’t succeed. So, these two airlines will be eyeing the two slots. SpiceJet is also in the picture as it has got the maximum number of domestic slots of Jet Airways across many airports and they are also getting new aircraft,” a source in the Pune airport told TOI.
“The airlines are waiting for more clarity from the Union government, which is still to take a final call on Jet’s international slots. The government has already clarified that the allocation of vacant slots is a temporary arrangement,” another official said.
S K Jain, former president of Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (MCCIA) and former president of MCCIA’s civil aviation committee, said that Vistara has almost finalised its Pune-Singapore flight operation. “The airline has already received permission to start international operation. And they want to start it with a flight from Pune to Singapore. However, Jet came on the picture and they had to suspend the plans. Now that Jet has ceased operation, they will definitely want to get that route,” he told TOI.
The Pune-Singapore market is huge and more than 36,000 visitors from Pune visited Singapore in 2017.
“The flight was a huge success and been going full in addition to impressive international cargo exports. Jet’s slot to Abu Dhabi, which remains empty, could interest IndiGo,” another source said.
12/05/19 Joy Sengupta/Times of India