Thursday, April 29, 2021

Tamil Nadu: Flights to metros cancelled, but small towns connected

Chennai: Flights to small towns are more popular than those to other metros from Chennai airport now. Services on major trunk routes — to Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi — have been cut because of poor patronage.

Fewer people are flying to these cities because of an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and lockdown restrictions.

However, the airport has direct flights to Jodhpur, Andal in Bengal, Ranchi, Hubli, Lucknow and Varanasi. The demand for these flights continues to be high because trains are fewer and slow.

The air fare is in the range of 5,000 to 7,400 to many of these destinations in the north for travel this weekend and on weekdays next week, hinting that demand is high. Since the routes have only one or two flights a day, the airlines also get full load.

In contrast, airfare to Mumbai is less than 4,000 and to Bengaluru is at 2,700.

An airport official said there are passengers to small towns. "The airlines have not withdrawn flights to small towns in the north because people who need to travel on emergency prefer going by air. But that is not the case on metro routes. The number of passengers to Bengaluru fell after Karnataka announced shutdown," he added.

The number of flights to Bengaluru has been reduced from 10 to five while flights to Mumbai have come down from 10 to eight a day.

Sixty-seater aircraft are being used to fly to some of the smaller towns, which keeps the cost down and landing and parking fee are either low or have been waived to encourage connectivity.

29/04/21 Times of India

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