Aviation

Shirdi airport awaits airlines

The Shirdi international airport is ready and trying to attract airlines with only Air India so far giving a a formal nod to start operations from the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC) facility.

Officials had earlier said the airport will become operational by April. However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is yet to provide a licence.

“On April 29, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis held a meeting with various airlines on the Shirdi airport. He invited them to take a look at the facilities of the airport and start flights. We too had talks with the operators. Till now, the Air India (AI) has given a formal nod. A slot for them has been finalised and they will start a flight from Mumbai to Shirdi,” an MADC official told TOI from Mumbai requesting anonymity.

“Jet Airways has also shown interest but has not committed anything. The airport is ready and is getting some final touches.” he said, adding that they hoped that more airline operators will come forward once the DGCA issues the licence.

“On May 2, the civil aviation ministry held a meeting of its steering committee. It was then directed that the licence for flight operations to and fro the airport should be provided within a month. Going by this, we expect flight operations from the first week of June,” the official said.

Though queries sent to Jet Airways remained unanswered, IndiGo said in a statement, “IndiGo is not exploring Shirdi as a destination in near future.”

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