Sunday, February 09, 2020

BPIA flyers get into turbulence

Bhubaneswar: Following instructions from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) regarding replacement of faulty engines, passengers of Indigo and GoAir in state are facing harrowing times as cancellations of flights at short notice is leaving them financially and mentally drained.

With several incidents of mid-air turbulence and emergency landings, the DGCA in November last year had instructed Indigo and GoAir to replace all their faulty Airbus 320neo (A320) engines. This led to cancellation of a number of flights all across the country, of which, a significant impact has been felt here where about 24 flights are operated jointly by the two carriers on daily basis.

“I had booked three tickets from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata for January 26 with GoAir. It cost me about Rs 7,500. However, just before five days of my scheduled departure they notified me that the flight has been cancelled. I was forced to book new tickets at such short notice which now cost me Rs 12,000. Moreover, I haven’t even received the refund of my cancelled tickets yet,” complained Sampurna Chakraborty.

As per sources from Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA), about 45 flights operate from here. While AirAsia, Air India, and Vistara jointly have 21 flights operating from the city airport, IndiGo and GoAir have 24 flights operating with A320 engines on a daily basis.

IndiGo is the largest low-budget carrier from BPIA with 22 flights connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati and Varanasi. GoAir has two flights connecting Mumbai and Kolkata of which the Bhubaneswar-Kolkata route has been temporarily suspended.

Regular cancellation of flights operated by these carriers will affect a large number of passengers who commute on these routes, civil aviation experts opined. Sources at BPIA told Orissa POST that nearly 200 passengers travel on Bhubaneswar-Kolkata route every day. “If GoAir and Indigo which run their flights with A320 and ATR72 types of engines suspend their services, it will affect around 2,000 passengers from BPIA,” a source said.
09/02/20 Aviral Mishra/Orissa Post
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