Monday, May 10, 2021

Airlines curtail flights as footfall drops at Patna airport

Patna: Amid the surge in Covid-19 cases and the lockdown imposed in several states across the country, the overall passenger footfall at the Jayaprakash Narayan International Airport has dropped by over 34%. The footfall has sharply declined to 5,503 compared to last week’s traffic of 8,411 flyers.

The number of daily passengers flying to the city has gone down from 5,691 on May 2 to around 3,953 while the number of those departing has also come down from 2,720 to 1,550, as per data shared by the Airports Authority of India (AAI)-Patna on Sunday.

The number of aircraft operating to and from Patna airport has declined by 34.1%, which now stands at 27- 28 flights daily, even though the summer schedule that came into force from March 28 had listed 48 flights per day. Most airlines curtailed their operations owing to low passenger traffic and merged a few flights in the same sector.

The airport deputy general manager (air traffic), Santosh Kumar said on Monday that the airlines are cancelling flights depending on the occupancy in arriving and departing aircraft and other operational reasons. “IndiGo cancels 5-6 flights per day, GoAir, SpiceJet and Air India are also operating fewer flights while Vistara has curtailed its lone daily flight to twice a week for this month,” he said.

Kumar added, “After the lockdown, the passengers’ footfall and aircraft movement has further dropped by 10- 15%. Currently, people are travelling only for an emergency in their family (like demise of their closed ones).”

GoAir’s executives at Patna airport said they are operating three to four flights per day against the daily nine flights. “We have two flights for Delhi and one each for Mumbai and Bengaluru. Owing to low traffic on the Delhi route, sometimes we merge both the flights on this route. The occupancy in incoming flight is around 70% while in the outgoing flights witnessed occupancy of less than 45%,” he said.

10/05/21 Faryal Rumi/Times of India

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