Thursday, October 26, 2017

Eye on extra flights and finger at terminal ills

Dum Dum: Vistara, India's newest full-service airline, is looking to scale up its operations in Calcutta but sees the airport struggling to handle any further increase in domestic passenger traffic because of inefficient utilisation of infrastructure.

Sanjiv Kapoor, La Martiniere alumnus and chief strategist and commercial officer at Vistara, said the integrated terminal was "a great new facility" but needed to improve in several respects. He said there was ample scope to do so if the airport authorities were open to re-prioritising infrastructure.

Vistara intends to add three to four daily flights to Delhi in the first half of 2018. The airline, co-owned by Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, is also eyeing direct connections to Chennai and Bangalore.
Vistara's expansion plans are independent of the airport's course correction, but Kapoor did not hold back while telling Metro where and why things are going wrong.
The airport authorities have yet to figure out how to ensure that an adequate number of aerobridges are available for domestic operations, where passenger traffic surged almost 26 per cent in 2016-17 over the previous year. The international wing, where growth in traffic has been stunted, has aerobridges that remain unused for most of the day.

"This problem can be fixed easily. The authorities should create a glass corridor between the aerobridge gates and the security hold, where passengers wait to board flights," Kapoor said. "The corridors should have separate exit/entry points for domestic and international operations. Only the door for the relevant section would be opened to allow passengers to get in or out of a flight."
27/10/17 Sanjay Mandal/Telegraph