Aviation

Flights to Puducherry could start again soon

PUDUCHERRY

The Puducherry government is taking all steps to ensure the viability of flight operations from the union territory after having seen suspension of flight operations twice owing to lack of viability for flight operators. Air India subsidiary Alliance Air is now slated to begin flying from the UT to Bangalore on April 14 in the evening.

Chief Minister N Rangaswamy is in talks with the airline to start the flight in morning hours instead. Past experience for the SpiceJet flight from Bengaluru that flew in afternoon hours showed that only foreigners and businessmen travelled via it while there was a lack of response from the industry and government officials.

The flight timing was inconvenient for the industry as government officials flying SpiceJet from Puducherry could not take the connecting flight to New Delhi from Bengaluru owing to a long wait. Even while returning from New Delhi to Puducherry, it was the same situation. The CM feels that a morning flight would be more attractive for people. Especially, for the high number of Government officials who travel to New Delhi from Puducherry. Even passengers on overseas flights like Air France, British Airways and Lufthansa reach Bengaluru early morning and could take the morning flight to reach Puducherry.

The government is also trying to establish an Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) station on the airport premises or at least make available a fuel bowser. In the absence of ATF in Puducherry, extra fuel has to be loaded in Bengaluru for the to and fro flight. This adds more weight to the aircraft and also makes it burn extra fuel adding to operation cost. The ATF facility in Puducherry will ensure fuel at a lower cost since the government has given full VAT exemption to ATF.

Musafir Namah Bureau

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