Visakhapatnam: In a big blow to flight services in the proposed executive capital of Andhra Pradesh, Indigo and Air Asia have apparently withdrawn their morning services to Chennai and Kolkata, respectively, from Vizag.
The service providers stopped bookings from 1 April for their morning services. Ticket booking websites have stopped showing Indigo’s 6.10 a.m service to Chennai and Air Asia’s 7.05 a.m flight to Kolkata. However, the service providers are yet to issue any official communication regarding the halting of morning services.
This would further worsen air connectivity from Vizag as Indian Navy’s stipulated time restriction on civil flights has already slashed the slots available at the city airport. The Navy has restricted the flying of civilian aircraft at Visakhapatnam airport from 9 a.m to noon and 6 p.m to 9 p.m.
It may be recalled that the launch of a dedicated cargo flight from Vizag airport has been delayed due to the restrictions imposed by the Navy on the time slots. The frequency of the flight services has also been reduced in the past two year.
The president of Tours and Travels Association of AP, Mr K. Vijay Mohan, said, "The service providers have not issued any official communication but bookings are not available for the morning slots from 1 April. The reason behind the halting of their service is unknown. There could be loading issues, unavailability of aircraft, or they may be planning to divert their service to other cities.”
Flight movement dropped by 14.5%
According to the flight movement report of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), flight movement in Vizag airport dropped by 14.5 per cent. In 2018-19, between April and December, the flightn movement was 16,482 but it came down to 14,095 in the same corresponding period of 2019-20. The number of flight services per day has also come down to around 60 at the Vizag airport.