Fleet shortage at Rajahmundry airport hits Rajamahendravaram air services

By Express News Service

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM: Flight services at the Rajahmundry airport has taken a beating due to a shortage of fleet. Demand for flights in larger airports is on the rise, resulting in a reduction of operations to smaller airports like Rajamahendravaram.

The flow of passengers at Rajahmundry airport used to be around 40,000 until last month, which has come down to 33,000 this month.  Until recently, 26 services were operated by 13 aircraft.

Later, Jet Airways has stopped its operations to Rajamahendravaram and after a few days, Spicejet followed suit by stopping services to the city and other destinations. Presently, TruJet and IndiGo flights only are in operation which has resulted in a reduction in passenger flow.  Presently, flights are being operated to Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore from Rajamahendravaram.

According to airport authorities, if flights are operated to Shirdi, Mumbai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Tirupati, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, the occupancy rate will certainly go up without a doubt. Recently, when Rajamahendravaram MP Margani Bharat raised the issue in Parliament, the Civil Aviation Minister replied that there is a problem in operating flights from Rajahmundry airport for the last eight months and presently seven flights are only being operated.

When contacted, Airport Director M Rajkishore said one more flight was added to the existing fleets of IndiGo and TruJet, raising the number to 9.

It is to be noted here that the runway at Rajahmundry airport was expanded from 1,700 m to 3,165 m to enable it to handle aircraft like A-321, Boeing for which DGCA has its approval.  However, for some reasons, the authorities were not able to operate more services to other cities.

As the inflow of passengers is on the decline, the revenue and tourism sectors will have to bear the brunt. The business fraternity of Rajamahendravaram is hoping that the situation will become normal in a few days and more flights will come into operation.

Tourism sector hit
As the inflow of passengers is on the decline, the revenue and tourism sectors will have to bear the brunt. The business fraternity of Rajamahendravaram is hoping that the situation will become normal in a few days and more flights will come into operation.

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