Trujet airline, which launched its service to Vijayawada two months ago, has decided to cancel its flights between Hyderabad and Gannavaram airport from December 1 indefinitely .The hype around the new capital region notwithstanding, regional airlines do not find the much-needed passenger support to operate their services to Vijayawada-Amaravati.
Trujet is promoted by film actor Ram Charan. While the airlines cited `operational reasons’ behind the decision, it is learnt that the poor occupancy rate has forced the private operator to back out. “We have cancelled Vijayawada as a sector indefinitely . No flight will be operated to Vijayawada from December 1,“ the spokesperson of the airline told TOI.However, he quickly added that the operations may resume from July , 2016. “We will take decision in July next year whether or not to resume the services,“ the spokesperson explained.
According to Vijayawada airport sources, Vijayawada – Hyderabad flights have more than 80 per cent occupancy rate. But the return flights from Hyderabad record just 40 per cent occupancy rate. This is resulting in losses to the airline.
Vijayawada airport authorities said the retraction is uncalled for. Airport director G Madhusudan Rao said he was told by Trujet management that the operations have been cancelled for a month.“The suspension is uncalled or. We were told that as they started services from Hyderabad to Goa, they had cancelled he flight to Vijayawada. We will talk to the airlines about he possibility of resuming he services as the occupancy rates are good,“ he added.
Meanwhile, Air Costa, regional airlines headquartered n Vijayawada, has also suspended its services to Hyderabad temporarily quoting air craft maintenance. Aviation experts fear that decrease in operations would possibly lead to fare hike by other operators and result in further decrease in passenger traffic.
“Fares and traffic are interlinked. If traffic is good, operators might consider lowering the fares and vice-versa,“ said an industrialist, who does not wish to be named. He said that the decision of Trujet is only the beginning as others may also go the same way if the state government did not commence the capital city work early to infuse confidence among various sections of people flying down to Vijaya wada.
At present, Vijayawada airport handles 12 flight services on different sectors. Five of these are between Hydera bad and Vijayawada. With Trujet withdrawing from the airport, only four services will now be operating between the two cities.