Thursday, August 06, 2020

Flights to smaller towns hit due to Covid-19 restrictions in Tamil Nadu

Chennai: Flying to small towns has been hit as Covid-19 restrictions have affected regional connectivity.
Flights from Chennai to Cuddapah and Salem are causing a lot of loss for the airlines and Airports Authority of India (AAI) because passenger patronage is low to sustain operation of flights and the airports. There is a flight to Tuticorin though it is not under the scheme but airlines are hesitant to fly to small towns because Covid-19 restrictions are keeping passengers away.
An AAI official said the aviation ministry is pushing airlines to fly on small routes as part of reopening domestic flights in a limited manner but airlines suffer loss operating on these routes. "It's time to suspend Udan scheme for sometime, at least till domestic aviation picks up. Ten staff are stationed at each small airports like Puducherry though no flights are operated."
Airlines are now focusing only on routes that bring them revenue. They will first increase frequency, add bigger flights on popular routes connecting metro cities and tier 2 cities before they focus on small towns. Already domestic carriers have been asking AAI to allow them to start more flights to big cities.
06/08/20 Times of India
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