December 3, 2014 (Airportchandigarh.com): Chandigarh International Airport is expected to go live next year by March/April. The city airport is almost prepared for flying to international destinations, however so far only SpiceJet has shown active interest in starting a flight to Dubai from Chandigarh. Other airlines have been asked to provide a confirmation about the international destinations that they would like to fly to, by the year end.Several airlines are yet to decide whether they would like to operate international flights from Chandigarh.
Both Ministry of Defence and Indian Air Force have started the process to increase the ground staff that would be able to handle several functions at the airport, which are necessary to extend the watch hours. The watch hours may get extended to 18 hours daily. Currently the flights operate from 7 am to 7 pm. With the extended watch hours, they may get extended until 11 pm or midnight.
Unlike railways, it is up to the private airlines to decide whether they would like to operate a flight on a certain route - domestic or international. While a railway station may have trains running in all the directions and on several routes based on the demand from passengers, an airport's case is not the same. If an airline finds it lucrative, only then it will be interested in operating a flight at an airport. The possibility of having several international flights from Chandigarh is good since many NRIs from Punjab have to land in Delhi becuase of IGI Airport's good connectivity to international destinations, while they would prefer to land in Chandigarh instead because of its close proximity to Punjab's major cities and towns.