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"Today, the airport handles as many as 28 lakh passengers a year, which works out to about 8,000 passengers a day. The case is no different with aircraft handling as we handle 25,322 flight movements per year from the earlier 7,745 a year in 2004-05. The growth has been phenomenal," said P S R K Sudhakar airport director..
From having operated only the national carrier about a decade ago, today, all the six domestic airlines operate out of Pune, connecting the city to eight destinations across the country. Besides, flights to Frankfurt and Dubai are operated by Lufthansa and Air India Express respectively. "The demand for Delhi is the highest, followed by Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai," said Sudhakar.
One interpretation of growth in numbers is the transition the city has witnessed in terms of IT, infrastructure, education and population. The growth has also given many a reason to press for the new international airport. "Pune is probably the only non-capital city handling such huge numbers. And it is the non-capital status that has hampered the expansion/ construction of the new airport. Given the volumes handled, it is high time we had 24-hour connectivity across the globe. Ideally, reciprocating the demand, the airport needs to operate at least 200 flights, 100 landings and 100 take-offs, a day against 40 landings and 40 take-offs now," said S K Jain, chairman, Civil Aviation Committee,MCCIA.
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