Friday, June 07, 2013

Sustainability of flight operations in Pondy under threat

Puducherry: Proposed to boost Tourism and industry, the revival of commercial flights from Puducherry Airport on January 17 by  SpiceJet, operating on the Puducherry-Bangalore sector, was done with much fanfare. But now, after four months, the flight operation is threatened by sustainability issues.
The response to the four-flights-a-week schedule (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) has been less than 50 per cent of the capacity. Though SpiceJet is flying its 78-seater Bombadier Q 400 aircrafts, it is able to take a maximum passenger load of 58 due to the limitations of the Airport runway, which was built for ATR aircrafts. But, even a passenger load of 58 is hard to get with an average passenger occupancy being 30 per cent, sources said.
The response for Sunday flights are good with the occupancy being around 50 seats, while on Thursday, it is fair with 30 seats. Trouble lurks on Fridays and Saturdays when the occupancy hovers between 18 and 20 seats, Airport sources said.
07/06/13 Debjani Dutta/New Indian Express