Runway upgradation work in progress at Chandigarh International Airport. (Jaipal Singh)
Three airline operators have submitted proposals to the Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) authorities to start additional flights from July 1, said airport officials on Thursday. The proposals include a flight to Delhi on Sundays and one in the evening. The airport is currently closed for runway upgrade work till May 31.
There have been no flights on Sundays since last October after the watch hours were curtailed due to runway upgradation work. The Indian Air Force (IAF) which manages the runway has already communicated to airlines operators and CHIAL that starting from June 4, the runway watch hours will be changed.
According to Chandigarh Airport spokesperson Deepesh Joshi, beginning June 4, the timing of the watch hours for airport operations would be 7-1800 hours. Joshi said that from July 1, on Sundays, the airport will remain available from 1 pm to 6 pm for flight operations.
Sources at the airport told Chandigarh Newsline that Vistara has sent its proposal to CHIAL stating that it was interested in starting the flight on Sundays from July as well. The Vistara operates a flight to Delhi on daily basis.
A city-based Vistara airline official said the Delhi flight was operating earlier as well and had to be stopped after airport operations were suspended on Sundays. “Now, with the runway reopening on Sunday from July, we have proposed to reinstate the flight on Sundays,” said the official.
A senior Jet Airways official told Chandigarh Newsline that from July 1, the airline is planning to operate another flight to New Delhi, which would leave Chandigarh at 4.45 pm and arrive in Delhi around 6.05 pm.
Officials from Air India and Spice Jet based in Chandigarh on Thursday said that they have not received any communication from their headquarters to start more flights from Chandigarh once the airport resumes operations from June 1.
An Indigo official said there was a proposal to start additional flights from Chandigarh airport to Bangalore in July. “We are also hoping that after the runway is opened on Sundays, we would be able to operate our existing flights (which operate on six days) on Sundays as well,” said the official.
CHIAL CEO Sunil Dutt confirmed to Chandigarh Newsline that they have received flight proposals from airline operators. “Indigo, Vistara and Jet Airways want to start additional flights from July from Chandigarh airport…,” he said.