Monday, November 22, 2021

Month on, Srinagar-Sharjah flight witnessing 90% occupancy

Srinagar: The Srinagar-Sharjah direct flight, which completes one month of operations on Tuesday, has been a runaway success as the flight is presently witnessing 90 per cent passenger occupancy.

The flight was flagged-off by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 23 and despite witnessing initial hiccups, the flight operating from a longer route now, has gained popularity among the Kashmiri travelers.

An official told Greater Kashmir that as many as 5000 passengers have travelled to and fro on the Srinagar-Sharjah flight during the last one month.

“We have been operating 4 flights per week and almost 170 passenger occupancy in each flight. This direct flight at present is witnessing almost 90 per cent passenger occupancy and if all goes well we expect the passenger footfalls to increase in days to come,” said the official.

Despite all odds, the flight has gained popularity among travelers especially trade fraternity. The official said the flight is now taking an additional 40 minutes to reach Sharjah, after Pakistan refused to allow the flights to use its air space. However, the official said despite a longer route, people prefer to travel on this flight.

Musadiq Shah, vice-president of Kashmir Pashmina Organisation said people in general and trade community in particular have been benefited by the direct flight. Shah said there should be more direct international flights connecting Srinagar to other overseas destinations.

“This has not just provided a boost to the travel community but those travelling to visit friends and relatives also find it quite convenient to board this flight” said Shah.

Shah who also heads the Kashmir Art Retailers in Dubai said the direct flight has also provided an impetus to tourist influx from the UAE to Kashmir.

“We are getting to hear that there are plans to start direct cargo goods service between Srinagar and Sharjah. That will be a huge boost to trade in Kashmir” Shah said.

22/11/21 Saqib Malik/Greater Kashmir

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