Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Air connectivity to busy Bhavnagar city halved

Rajkot: Keshod’s gain seems to be a loss for the industrial city of Bhavnagar.

Alliance Air, which is beginning Keshod-Mumbai flight from March 12, the first from this 75-year-old airport after 20 years, has discontinued its Bhavnagar-Mumbai service from March 7.

This has caused a huge resentment among industrialists, who said the stopping of this tri-weekly flight will impact their business.

The 72-seater aircraft had one of the highest occupancies.

When contacted, Bhavnagar airport officials told TOI: “We have been informed by the airline that they have suspended the operation from March 7 for commercial reasons.”

Bhavnagar airport now has only one flight run by SpiceJet thrice a week to Mumbai. Sources claimed that they were suspended temporarily because of commencement of Keshod-Mumbai for the want of slots at Mumbai airport.

Bhavnagar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) aggressively protested against suspension of the flight. The chamber’s president Kirit Soni said, “Starting Keshod-Mumbai flight is welcome, but it can’t be done at the cost of discontinuing flights to another big city.”

According to Soni, they are also demanding air connectivity for Pune and Delhi.

Haresh Parmar, secretary of Ship Recycling Industries Association of India (SRIA), said, “The Alliance Air flights had good occupancy, despite the fare being highest around Rs 12,000 for Mumbai. This will adversely affect the business and industry in the entire district.”

09/03/22 Nimesh Khakhariya/Times of India

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