It seems domestic travelers from the state prefer trains to air travel. The recently released air travel figures for December show that the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport has once shown the greatest drop in domestic fliers.
The airport in December 2012 registered a fall of 19.5% in domestic fliers as compared to December 2011. Airport officials said the number of passengers has been dropping since October. In October 2012, the number of domestic fliers fell by 32 % and a fall of 17.2% was registered in November 2012.
Officials at SVPI airport said that in December 2012, only 3.03 lakh passengers travelled from Ahmedabad. This number was 3.76 lakh travellers in December 2011.
The growth in airline traffic at Ahmedabad airport seems to have hit rock bottom this year. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel airport, which recorded an annual rise of more than 35% in domestic air traffic last year, saw an annual dip of around 17.5% in 2012.
The lower number of passengers can be attributed to falling number of flights from the state. The number of flights also decreased, by 16.4%. Against 3,165 flights in December 2011, there were only 2,646 flights in December 2012.
10/03/13 Himanshu Kaushik/Times of India