Runway closures due to rain at the Mumbai airport have affected flight operations at Pune airport, with flights being diverted to other cities due to logistical reasons causing a delay in arrival at Pune. The issue has persisted over a week and affected several passengers, an airport official said.
“For example, a flight coming from Delhi to Mumbai is diverted to Ahmedabad, and the same aircraft is scheduled to depart as a different flight from Mumbai to Jaipur, and then come to Pune from Jaipur as a third flight. The diversion will delay the Pune flight by several hours. We are also struggling to control the situation,” an airline official said.
As many as 30 flights are delayed every day, according to a senior officer, who added that though passengers arrive at the airport on time, they are forced to wait inside the terminal building.
Airline sources say the delays also mean that airlines have to struggle to manage cabin crews. “If the flight is delayed by more than four hours,” a source of a private airline said, “the cabin crew leaves the airport as their working time is over, and we wait for another team. The same thing happens for the ground staff as well. On one hand, we have to face irate fliers, and on the other, we have to manage the staff.”
Vijay Rajput, an IT professional at Kharadi, whose flight to Delhi was delayed on Tuesday, said, “The delays may happen due to weather or other issues, but it is the responsibility of the airline to inform passengers on time. They are sending delayed messages just a couple hours prior, by which time passengers have already reached the airport. To arrive at the airport is also hectic nowadays. We have to leave our home three hours before the departure time.”