Sunday, November 22, 2020

Belagavi Airport sees high traffic at cost of Hubballi

Hubballi: The airport in Belagavi has emerged as the next most high traffic airport in the state, after Bengaluru and Mangaluru airports.

Hubballi Airport, which was the third busiest airport in the state in 2018 and 2019, has now witnessed a drastic fall in the number of passengers between April to October 2020, according to statistics released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Friday. Hubballi is pushed to the last place among domestic airports, under AAI in the state.

Commenting on the development, Naveen Jha, a serial entrepreneur and frequent air traveller, observed that uncertainty of flights increased at Hubballi Airport, while it’s almost zero at Sambra Airbase in Belagavi. “This uncertainty has disturbed Hubballi air passengers a lot. Many a times we are forced to travel via Belagavi. Another issue is that people in Hubballi are kept in the dark on when airlines will withdraw their flights, and when they will resume. A recent instance is the flight service to Delhi. It was launched with much fanfare, and was withdrawn suddenly, after which it resumed again. Such uncertainty makes people opt for travelling via other airports,” he analysed.

Santosh Huralikoppi, a frequent traveller and an IT entrepreneur, noted that the fear caused due to Covid was more in Hubballi. “Another reason for air traffic reducing in Hubballi is that flights were resumed at Belagavi Airport and not Hubballi Airport, after the lockdown period. However, as more flights are now being resumed or launched, things may get streamlined by January,” he said.

A Kendriya Vidyalaya teacher recalled that he had booked his ticket from Hindon to Hubballi after Dasara. “As the airliner cancelled its service and informed us two days before the journey date, we travelled to Belagavi and then went to Hubballi to carry out our work the next day. Belagavi Airport has seen higher air traffic, probably due to Hubballi passengers like us,” he said.

22/11/20 Sangamesh Menasinkai/Times of India

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