Saturday, August 27, 2016

Kashmir unrest aftermath: Airlines cut flights as visitors to Srinagar dip

New Delhi: This is the time of the year when flights to Srinagar used to go full. But the 50-day unrest in the valley has led to such a sharp fall in visitors to Srinagar — with hardly any tourists going there and only locals flying in and out for essential work — that airlines have started cutting down on flights to the city and deploying the freed up capacity on other routes.
A senior Airports Authority of India official said the Srinagar airport used to receive daily over 84 domestic flights — 42 arrivals and as many departures -in peak summer. Today , the number of schedule flights is closer to 70, a fall of almost 17%. The number of cancellations, say sources, could only grow if things don't improve fast. Of the six schedule airlines that operate to Srinagar, four have cut frequencies.
India's largest airline by domestic passenger carriage — IndiGo — has halved its daily flights to and from Srinagar in recent days due to the "current curfew situation and local unrest". SpiceJet used to fly to Srinagar from Delhi, Jammu, Amritsar and Chandigarh. "Post fall in demand we have withdrawn Chandigarh-Srinagar flights," a SpiceJet spokesman said.
GoAir used to have six daily flights between Delhi and Srinagar. "We now have four dailies on that route as two have been curtailed. In addition, the two dailies on MumbaiSrinagar route are continuing," said an airline official.
27/08/16 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India
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