Saturday, September 25, 2021

Clear skies ahead for Vizag airport

The Visakhapatnam International Airport is slowly but steadily recovering from the pandemic blues during the last couple of months.

The number of passengers handled by the airport, increased to 64,732 in June, 1,04,044 in July and 1,48,249 in August this year as the restrictions on air travel were relaxed. International flights, which were cancelled due to the pandemic, are yet to be resumed from Visakhapatnam.

However, the number of domestic passengers handled during May this year (2021) dropped to 45,726 from 1,15,143 from the previous month due to the second wave surge of COVID-19.

Flight movements had also decreased due to the cancellation of flights due to poor patronage as a result of the pandemic threat due to the second wave. The domestic flight movements, which were 1,322 in April, 2021, declined to 720 in May and 654 in June. They are, however, picking up slowly with revival of services. The flight movements increased to 964 in July and 1,292 in August.

The airport, which handled 27,03,261 domestic and 1,50,370 international passengers during the 2019-20 fiscal, registered a marginal decline in the next financial year as the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in restrictions and lockdown during February/March 2020.

The passengers handled by the airport during 2020-21 dropped drastically as the pandemic hit the aviation sector badly. The domestic passengers during 2020-21 declined to 11,06,451 and international passengers were a mere 8,192.

The aircraft movements from Vizag Airport were the highest during 2018-19 with 22,376 domestic and 1,806 international flight movements, taking the total movements in that year to 24,182. The next year (2019-20), the domestic flight movements declined sharply with the restrictions and lockdown towards the end of the financial year. However, international flight movements during the year increased marginally to 1,899 movements during that year.

25/09/21 B. Madhu Gopal/The Hindu

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