Friday, August 09, 2019

J&K political crisis: Airlines see bookings fall, cancellations rise

Mumbai: Although domestic airlines continue to fly to Srinagar, Jammu and Leh despite the political slugfest, there is a decline in Passenger Load Factor (PLF).
A spokesperson for Air India said that for the flights to J&K, the PLF were 60 per cent, though there was no disruption in service.
Airlines have not received any directive from the government to stop flying to J&K and Leh. However, according to an executive representing the full service carrier, “the passenger load factors for flights going to the J&K region are impacted to a great extent and is likely to stay like this for the next three to six months.”
An industry expert said on the condition of anonymity, “There will be a drop in PLF of at least 30-40 per cent. This will continue for a long time.”
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, had in April, asked the airlines to expand capacity and not increase fare in general. An industry expert said, “In general scenario, the fares in that region would have been impacted and shot up. However, due to the government’s decree, the fares have a cap.”
However, airlines are facing connectivity issues which are disrupting operations. GoAir spokesperson said, “GoAir is facing operational challenges, in that there is limited telephone connectivity in J&K making it difficult to conduct normal operations.”
An LCC player said, “The public sentiment is at a peak at the moment, and hence, we have seen more cancellations. Advance bookings, too, have been impacted.” Industry players like and Thomas Cook have seen a diversion in traffic.
09/08/19 Forum Gandhi/Business Line
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