Wednesday, March 31, 2021

48 flights at city airport under summer schedule

Patna: Altogether 48 flights to and from Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport (JPNI) are operational from Sunday as per the summer schedule released on Tuesday.

Earlier, 47 flights were operating from the city airport as per the revised winter scheduled from February 5.

Airport director Bhupesh CH Negi told TOI on Tuesday that the number of flights operated by different airlines has remained almost the same under the summer schedule as well. “Few airlines have added a few while others have reduced their flights. Thus, the overall number of flights operating from the airport has remained around the same,” Negi said.

An IndiGo executive said two flights have been added to its winter schedule from Patna -- one direct flight each to Jaipur and Pune.

Negi said one of the reasons behind not much change in the number of flights is a capping on total number of flights operated by the airlines in the country at 80% of their pre-Covid levels. The commercial domestic flight operations in the country remained suspended from March 23 to May 25 last year owing to Covid-induced lockdown.

The civil aviation ministry in November last year allowed the airlines to operate 70% of their pre-Covid levels and the cap on the number of flights was further increased to 80% in December.

“The cap of 80% will remain effective till April 30. This is why the airlines could not make substantial increase in the number of flights operated by them,” Negi said.

He said few airlines have proposed to increase the number of flights from Patna but it is possible only if the civil aviation ministry raises or lifts the cap.

“We are operating 20-21 flights daily from Patna airport and proposals are afoot to increase it up to 28. However, it will be possible only when the capping of 80% flights of pre-Covid level is lifted,” the IndiGo executive said.

31/03/21 Piyush Tripathi/Times of India

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