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Finally, the Chandigarh international airport set to go global with Dubai flight

Posted by BrickAcres on March 22, 2016
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As a petition filed in public interest on making the Chandigarh
international airport fully functional after spending Rs 1,400
crore came up for hearing, the Bench of Justice SS Saron and
Justice Gurmit Ram was informed by the Airports Authority of
India (AAI) that IndiGo would commence the flights in the
forthcoming summer 2016 schedule.

Finally, the Chandigarh international airport is all set to
take off.IndiGo has confirmed the commencement of its operations
on the Chandigarh-Dubai and Mumbai routes. Information to this
effect was furnished before the Punjab and Haryana High Court
this afternoon.

An email from IndiGo to the authorities concerned in India was
also placed before the Bench. It referred to a letter by the
ministry concerned, asking IndiGo to utilise “unutilised
traffic rights” on the India-Dubai routes allocated to it in
the forthcoming summer 2016 schedule between March 27 and
October 29.

The email added: “IndiGo currently has an unutilised allocation
of seven fights/1,260 seats per week in each direction on the
Chandigarh-Dubai route and seven fights/1,260 seats per week in
each direction on the Mumbai-Dubai route.

“IndiGo hereby confirms that it will commence operations on the
Chandigarh-Dubai and Mumbai routes in the forthcoming summer
2016 schedule, fully utilising the above allocated capacity
entitlements within the summer 2016 schedule itself”.

A status report by way of an affidavit of the Under Secretary
in the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation was also filed by the
Assistant Solicitor General of India, Chetan Mittal.It said the
actual operation depended upon the commercial wisdom and
economic viability of the designated carriers.

The affidavit added: “Chandigarh is already a point of call for
carriers designated by the UAE and it is up to the Dubai Civil
Aviation authorities to permit its designated carriers such as
Flydubai to operate between Dubai or any airport in India,
including Chandigarh.

“However, it appears that the Civil Aviation authorities of
Dubai did not permit Flydubai, a designated carrier of Dubai,
to operate to Chandigarh, within the overall agreed bilateral
entitlements.

“Flydubai airlines ought to approach the Civil Aviation
authorities of Dubai to get adequate entitlements granted from
them to operate on the Dubai-Chandigarh sector and the
respondent, Union of India, would have no objection to the
same.”

Taking up the matter, the Bench questioned the delay in
making the Chandigarh international airport fully functional.
Mincing no words, the Bench verbally observed that the delay
amounted to misutilisation of funds.

The Bench also called for fixing responsibility for the delay
and indicated at a CBI probe into the matter. The Bench was of
the opinion that Rs 1,400 crore had been spent on upgrading
the airport form domestic to international keeping in view the
needs of the people. The airport was inaugurated way back in
September, but was yet to go international.

The developments took place during the hearing of a petition
filed by the Mohali Industries Association against
non-operation of the Chandigarh international airport. The
High Court, on a previous date of hearing, had expressed the
hope that the Union of India would immediately consider the
requests of airlines to start flights from the Chandigarh
international airport “as per the existing policy”. The
Centre was also directed to submit a status report within
two weeks.

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