Friday, June 28, 2019

Vizag’s connectivity suffers as many airlines withdraw services this year

Visakhapatnam: Even though the number of passengers availing flight services from Visakhapatnam has been on the rise there has not been a proportional increase in the number of flights to cater to the demand. Moreover, Visakhapatnam saw a slew of flights being withdrawn this year.
Only recently, Alliance Air— a subsidiary of Air India proposed to withdraw its Visakhapatnam-Tirupati-Vijayawada daily flight from July 16. According to sources, Alliance Air will be changing its base ATR72 aircraft to Hyderabad and will be operating to other sectors from Hyderabad.

Speaking to TOI, airport director Prakash Reddy said, “There is no official information on the withdrawal of this flight. The Visakhapatnam-Tirupati-Vijayawada sector is doing well with a load factor of over 90%. If they are planning to withdraw the services, it could be for some other reasons.”

Vice president of Andhra Pradesh Air Travellers’ Association (APATA), O Naresh Kumar said that there has been an annual increase of 20% in the number of passengers travelling by air. However, there has been no addition of aircrafts.

“Airlines have been facing a shortage of aircrafts over the last few years. Moreover, air services prefer routes with higher traffic and more profits,” he added.

The APATA vice president further said that although the Visakhapatnam-Tirupati-Vijayawada flight has good occupancy rate, the air service is being deployed at Hyderabad as it has an assured and consistent demand.
28/06/19 Reshma Jain/Times of India

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