Air India has no plans to revive the Pune-Singapore direct flight, which was started in December 2005 but was suspended in September 2007 citing operational reasons, as per a TOI report by Vishwas Kothari. “Our ongoing efforts are aimed at expanding flight operations to newer destinations on the domestic circuit but revival of flight service to Singapore is not on the cards yet,” a senior AI official said. The service to Singapore along with Dubai, were the first international flights to operate from the Lohegaon airport in the city.
Praful Patel, former Minister for Civil Aviation, Government of India had launched the Pune-Dubai flight on December 12, 2005. On December 13, 2005, the Pune-Singapore service was flagged off. The Dubai flight was started by Air India, using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, while the flight to Singapore was operated by Indian Airlines, which eventually merged with Air India. The two services had increased hopes of more international flights operating from Lohegaon airport.
However, the Singapore flight was suspended on September 15, 2007 in view of the resurfacing and re-carpeting of the runway undertaken by the Indian Air Force (IAF), which controls the Lohegaon air base. The flight service to Dubai was subsequently taken over by Air India Express.
An airline official said, “Dubai remains a lucrative destination. But a large number of travellers from Pune and adjoining districts also keep visiting Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok and other prominent destinations via Mumbai. This segment is yet to be tapped.”