Saturday, August 15, 2020

Domestic passengers down by 80% at MIA

Mangaluru: Though domestic flights have resumed since the lockdown, there are not many takers for the same, which can be seen at the Mangaluru International Airport (MIA). The number of domestic passengers is down by almost 80% as compared to last year.
According to stakeholders, the reason for this is that a majority of passengers are opting not to travel by air due to stringent quarantine rules. According to data available with TOI, in June this year, MIA handled only 141 domestic flights against 937 flights (32 flights a day) in June last year, which is down by 85 per cent. In May 2020, only seven domestic flights were operated.

Currently, MIA operates two flights daily to Bengaluru and to Mumbai. IndiGo airlines, which on normal days operated 12 flights every day, is now operating only two, which fly to Mumbai on alternate days. SpiceJet, which flew seven flights is reduced to one, which goes to Bengaluru. Air India recently started its domestic operations at MIA, with a flight to Mumbai, which flies thrice a week, said V V Rao, airport director, MIA.

“It is not that flyers are unwilling to take a flight, but 14 days of mandatory quarantine rules by each state is holding them back. As a result, there is a lukewarm response. So people postpone their plans or find alternative modes of travel,” says an executive in charge of a private air carrier in Mangaluru. He said that after domestic air travel resumed, on initial days, flights with a capacity of 180 passengers flew with less than 10 passengers. “However, the numbers are increasing gradually, and flights will be full only if quarantine rules are relaxed,” the executive pointed out.
15/08/20 Kevin Mendonsa/Times of India

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