Saturday, September 19, 2020

Flights, passengers up, but yet to soar high

Coimbatore: In a sign of limping back to normalcy, passenger movement in the city airport had increased by 55.4% in August, compared to the previous month. Data available with the Airport Authority of India shows the number of flights that was operated to and from the city had gone up by 67% to 576 in August from 344 in June. In July, 493 flights were operated to and from the city.

It’s the increase in domestic flight services that has by and large changed the scenario. With flights available, more people are choosing to fly for business, attending a special function or visit family. The improvement in passenger response has also prompted airlines such as Air India and Indigo to introduce direct flights to Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.

However, the figures are still a fraction of the usual passenger traffic. For example, the city airport had in August last year seen a domestic passenger traffic of 2.32 lakh.

The picture isn’t any different with the flight movements. August saw only 552 flights, compared to 1,679 in the comparable period last year at an average of 55 take-offs and landings a day. Now, there are only 18 take-offs and landings a day, including flights to Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai.

Airport authorities acknowledged that the number of operations wasn’t anywhere near once it used to be, but said the unlocking of lockdown has contributed to increased passenger traffic.

19/09/20 Times of India

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