Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Vizag city airport aims for the sky with rise in footfalls

Visakhapatnam: Notwithstanding the withdrawal of the Vizag-Colombo flight in October 2018, Visakhapatnam International Airport has witnessed a steady growth in passengers on both the domestic and international fronts in the first five months of the present calendar year, compared to the corresponding period in 2018.

The number of international passengers from Vizag Airport crossed the 42,000-mark in the first quarter of 2019 (January, February and March), according to a report of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The Silk Air flight to Singapore and the Air Asia flight to Kuala Lumpur are doing extremely well with over 70% occupancy, and a new Air Asia flight to Bangkok launched in December 2018 is also getting over 65% occupancy, which officials believe should make up for the loss of the Sri Lankan flight.
The number of passengers who flew on the Vizag-Bangkok-Vizag route stood at 11,533 passengers for the January-March period. The Vizag-Dubai-Vizag route had 9,060 passengers while the Vizag-Singapore-Vizag route saw 8,267 passengers for the same period. The Vizag-Kuala Lumpur-Vizag route was the busiest with 13,622 passengers during this period.
The number of passengers on Air India’s Vizag–Dubai (via Hyderabad) flight has also grown by over 50% as compared to the last quarter. A direct flight to Dubai or alternatively increasing the quota of seats from Vizag would result in more passengers flying directly to the Gulf from Vizag, say frequent travellers to the Gulf.
Though the demand for cargo exports is good from Vizag, non-availability of certain facilities like palletisation and cold storages of variable temperatures, and levying of higher rates on cargo by Air India for the same quantity of goods from Vizag compared to Hyderabad, are coming in the way of full utilisation of the cargo potential from the city airport.
The price variation is prompting exporters to send their cargo by road to Hyderabad and from there to Dubai, say A.P. Air Travellers Association (APATA) vice-presidents O. Naresh Kumar and D.S. Varma.
26/06/19 The Hindu
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