Pune: Pune Airport at Lohegaon is expected to start international flight from January 7 with a flight to Sharjah. International flight operations at Pune Airport have been completely closed since March 2020 due to the Covid outbreak.
“The flight to Sharjah could take off from Pune International Airport on January 7, we are awaiting final confirmation. The airport is ready to resume international flights,” an airport official said on condition of anonymity.
Before the first lockdown, Pune Airport had two international flights to Dubai which were operated by SpiceJet and Air India Express.
“We expect more flights to the Gulf countries, however, now due to the Omicron threat many countries have changed their travel policies which impacted the pre-planned schedule that we wanted. implement from January 2022. Now the plans will be delayed, but many airlines have shown interest in launching international flights from Pune airport, ”the official said.
On the last day of 2020, 17,105 passengers flew from Pune Airport. 9,665 arrived while 7,440 departed from 68 flights.
“Passenger movement reached as high as 22,000 a few times in December. We expected higher attendance in the New Year, but Omicron’s impact made the difference, ”he said.
Pune has always had international flights to the Gulf countries and the airport expects the same once service is restored.
Once international flight service resumes, the decision on whether passengers returning from Sharjah will need to take a seven-day quarantine will be decided in a few days.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has made the seven-day home quarantine mandatory for travelers arriving from the United Arab Emirates and they must pass a mandatory RT-PCR test at the airport even if they are fully vaccinated upon arrival.
Atiq Shaik, a regular traveler to Sharjah, said: “I booked my ticket from Mumbai. If the flight service restarts, I will be able to book my return flight for February to Pune airport as it will be more convenient.