Airport may see increase in flights next month

Plan to operate nearly 45% of the capacity: AAI

Published - July 29, 2020 12:00 am IST - CHENNAI

Nearly two months after the resumption of domestic operations, the airport may soon see a significant increase in the number of flights.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has written a letter to the State government, requesting an increase in the number of flights. If the proposal gets approved, there will be nearly 85 flight arrivals and 85 departures every day starting next month, sources said. Right now, the airport has only 60 flights a day with 30 arrivals and departures each.

The Tamil Nadu government placed a limit of 25 arrival flights just before the nod to resume domestic flight operations was given. As a result, there were only 25-30 departure flights, and passenger traffic was very poor.

“A request has been made for increasing the number of flights. Now, the idea is to operate nearly 45% of the total capacity of the airport,” a source said. Before COVID-19, the airport used to witness nearly 450-500 aircraft movements every day.

The AAI has already made repeated requests to the State government to permit operation of more flights. “Earlier, we would have tourists, business travellers, students, people coming to visit places of worship and those visiting for medical reasons. Now, people are taking flights only if there is some emergency or medical reasons,” another source said.

For the last two months, the number of people travelling has been rather static and only about 3,500-4,000 people used the airport on average. Also, there were no direct flights to and from Kolkata in the past few weeks and hence, passenger traffic has not increased.

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