Visakhapatnam: Growth in air traffic fails to impress airlines

However, the withdrawal of flights seems to be continuing in the city.

VISAKHAPATNAM: Vizag airport registered a growth of 2 per cent in passenger traffic and 9 per cent growth in domestic cargo handling. Despite rise in the passenger traffic, the flights from Vizag have been discontinuing their services. Vizag registered 33 per cent decrease in international cargo handling.

There has been two per cent growth in passenger traffic from May to July this year. Around 7.29 lakh passengers travelled from Vizag airport in these three months. The passengers who travelled during the corresponding period in the financial year 2018-19 was 7.15 lakhs. When it comes to handling domestic cargo, there is a rise of 9 per cent. Around 1,586 tonnes of cargos were handled in the said three months against 1,456 tonnes handled during the corresponding period in 2018-19.

There has been a 33 per cent reduction in the International cargo handling through Vizag in May, June and July. Around 89,509 kg of cargo was handled in three months against 1,32,696 kg handled during the corresponding period in 2018.

However, the withdrawal of flights seems to be continuing in the city. Tours and Travels Association informed that Air Asia, which is currently being operated between Vizag and Bangkok, has decided to withdraw the flight service very soon. Air Travellers’ Association is concerned over reducing the number of flights over a period of time. Flight movements have come down from 80 to 50 per day.

Air Travellers’ Association vice-president Naresh Kumar said, “There are many reasons like the closure of Jet airways, non-payment of Viability Gap Funding, Navy restrictions on Civil movements.”

One side of the airport is blocked by a hill and it blocks the second direction of landing. There is a need to reduce the hill size.”

Tours and Travel Association condemns the actions being taken by the airlines without any prior intimation to agents. Tours and Travels Association president K. Vijay Mohan said, “Most of the agents have done the booking for the festival season and booked the hotels. Airlines will simply wash their hands by refunding the amount, but as an agent, we will face an immense challenge to get the refund back from the hotels as they will refuse to refund, without any cancellation charges, being a season with demand for them as well.”

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