Saturday, May 30, 2020

Domestic air traffic yet to gain momentum

Thiruvananthapuram: Though domestic services resumed with a positive note in the country from Monday, the passenger traffic is yet to pick up in domestic routes due to the uncertainties in various states, including providing epass and the prospects of being quarantined. A 183-seat aircraft of Air India Express flew with 70 passengers on board on Thursday from Delhi to Madurai in Tamil Nadu, while the passenger load factor of other private airlines, including IndiGo, was also not satisfactory.
Sources in Air India Express told TNIE that operating an aircraft with below 50 per cent passenger load factor is a huge liability to airlines. Passengers are wary of the uncertainties in various states. For instance, there were reports that the passengers from other states have to undergo paid quarantine in Karnataka and that dissuaded many. Issues related to granting e-pass also hinder the movement of passengers, he said. Amjith Bhooshan, a private company staff in Bengaluru who booked a ticket from Kochi to Bengaluru on June 1, said he received a message from Indigo that the flight has been cancelled and the fund was credited to his account.
“I was hoping to rejoin duty by June 1.” Though the ticket was cancelled, the airline company staff called him and told him that another ticket would be provided in an alternative flight arranged by the airline, which he can redeem any time in one year. Sources close to IndiGo confirmed that though the airline has been operating from Kochi to various cities, including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kannur, the passenger load factor is well below normal in many flights.
30/05/30 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

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