The trade body pointed out that Madurai was the gateway to southern districts for international passengers and freight traffic
The Tamil Nadu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged Spice Jet to launch a Madurai – Colombo flight given the huge potential for such a flight service.
A chamber delegation led by president N. Jegatheesan met the Spice Jet Regional Manager (South) Ramakrishna Reddy and Focus Sales Manager Gary Freeman during their recent visit to Madurai and presented a memorandum.
The trade body pointed out that Madurai was the gateway to southern districts for international passengers and freight traffic.
At present, 80,000 persons travel annually from the southern districts to the United Arab Emirates, 75.000 to Omen, 68,000 to Saudi Arabia, 59,000 to Kuwait and a good sizeable number to Colombo. They are now using only the Chennai or Tiruchi airports now.
As per a ‘Study of traffic potential at Madurai Airport’ conducted by the global consulting firm PricewaterhouseCooper, the passenger traffic could grow to 9.17 lakh including 2.36 lakh international passengers and the cargo traffic could touch 4,351 tonnes including 3,025 tonnes in international cargo by the year 2016.
Huge quantities of textiles, handlooms, engineering goods, matches, fireworks, granite icons, medical equipment, fruits and vegetables from the southern districts were now being exported through the Thiruvananthapuram Airport.
The Madurai Airport has got a state-of-the-art integrated terminal building built over an area of 17,500 sq.ft. and a runway of 7,500 feet that could be extended. It has got parking space for seven aircrafts and was all set for international connectivity.
Keeping in view these factors, Mr. Jegatheesan urged the spice jet officials to launch a direct flight from Madurai to Colombo, which he said, would be commercially viable and a boon to international passengers from the south.
At present, Air India, Jet Airways and Spice Jet were operating 11 domestic services daily to Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.