Big boost to Pune City with international connectivity. Air India has launched a direct fllight to Dubai and is likely to launch one to Singapore also. This really puts to rest a glaring deficiency when compared with Bangalore and Hyderabad. This will shave off nearly 4 hours for international visitors visiting Pune after landing in Mumbai. What I did not realize is that it is also a big boon for surrounding districts like Ahmednagar, Satara, Sangli and Kolhapur. I personally feel this was possible because of strong representation at the center with Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel who held true to his commitment made in June this year, despite the stringent rules of the Indian Airforce which controls Pune airport. The flight took off 30 minutes late till all party workers had finished wishing Pawar on his 65th birthday. Leaders should insist that India’s image is not compromised at least in international eyes. Nevertheless from today Puneris can take to international skies faster.