The people of Nashik, which lies around 210 km from Pune, are excited about the start of commercial flights from September, but want greater air-connectivity.
The city is all set to get connected by air after a period of seven and a half years, with Air Deccan to begin commercial flight operations between Nashik-Mumbai and Nashik-Pune from September under the RCS.
Airfare for Bangalore and Chennai from Pune is cheaper as compared to these destinations from Mumbai. Hence, people in Nashik wishing to go to Bangalore and Chennai, with proper bookings, will prefer to use via-Pune flights.
During a recent online survey, people stated Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore as their most-preferred flying destinations. Moreover, they also stated preferences for hopping flights to Delhi and Bangalore.
Kingfisher Airlines shut the Nashik-Mumbai air service after a year-long operation in November 2009, following poor response. In the meantime, the state government and Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) jointly built an airport terminal at Ozar, 20 km from Nashik city at a cost of Rs.84 crore. The land is owned by HAL; the government bore the expenses.
Nashik's road connectivity with Mumbai is very good, allowing one to reach Mumbai in three-and-a half hours. But direct flights to Mumbai will help those in Nashik who want to catch other domestic or international flights. Road connectivity between Nashik and Pune is also being improved. Presently, it takes around five or six hours to cover the distance. It's clear that direct flights to Pune will reduce travel time.