Sunday, December 08, 2019

Decrease in flyers to Shirdi, transport from Aurangabad an issue

Pune: The flyers to Shirdi have reduced ever since the airport was shut for traffic movement due to low visibility last month, a source from the Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited (MADC) said.
The airlines operating from Shirdi — IndiGo and SpiceJet — have temporarily shifted their operations to Aurangabad until the first week of December. Acording to the latest update from the airlines, while SpiceJet was expected to resume operations in Shirdi from Tuesday, IndiGo, stated on its social media platform that their services were expected to resume from Wednesday.

“Even though we are in touch with the IMD officials, the air traffic control (ATC) is controlled by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and in no condition can they permit a landing or take off until they are fully convinced of the visibility factor. The suspension of operations from Shirdi has hit passenger traffic but we aren’t in a position to give out figures. The airlines too must be suffering operational losses,” an MADC official said.

The Shirdi airport, which is among the fastest growing airports in Maharashtra after Mumbai and Pune, suspended all flight operations since November 12.

While SpiceJet didn’t answer the queries on the losses and the present passenger traffic of its Shirdi flights, a source from IndiGo said the same presently rested around 70%. “The flights were almost full earlier. In connection with the ground transportation, we are not providing any from Aurangabad to Shirdi for passengers,” a source said.

Srinivasan, who was set to travel to Shirdi with some of his elders from Chennai on December 6, told that he had contacted SpiceJet on the issue of ground transportation. “They told me that ground transportation couldn’t be provided and that I could cancel my ticket. I couldn’t do that as senior citizens were travelling with me and this had been planned carefully. I have no option but to take a cab from Aurangabad to Shirdi,” he said.
08/12/19 Joy Sengupta/Times of India
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