Tirupati: Reduced Covid fears give impetus to air traffic
Sending positive signals after the Covid pandemic, the domestic air passenger footfall has been increasing gradually in the State during the past few months thereby increasing the flight operations.
Tirupati: Sending positive signals after the Covid pandemic, the domestic air passenger footfall has been increasing gradually in the State during the past few months thereby increasing the flight operations. In a latest such addition, SpiceJet has introduced a new service between Tirupati and Delhi via Hyderabad from Sunday which runs thrice in a week.
This new service takes the total flights from the pilgrim city to the national capital to four in which SpiceJet has been operating two while Air India and Indigo operate the other two. This only indicates the increased footfall between the two cities during the post Covid pandemic. According to AAI Traffic News, the number of aircraft movements from Tirupati has gone up from 278 in August 2020 when lockdowns hit various parts of the country to 752 in August 2021.
Similarly, between April and August 2021, a total of 2,432 aircraft movements took place from Tirupati compared to just 692 movements during the corresponding period in 2020.
The same increasing trend was witnessed from other airports in the State. During the same period of April to August, the domestic flight movements have increased from 1,683 in 2020 to 4,626 in 2021 from Visakhapatnam while they have gone up from 1,232 in 2020 to 2,789 in 2021 from Vijayawada. Rajahmundry also witnessed the same trend as the movements went up from 1,556 to 2,577.
Corresponding to the increase in flights, there was a big spike in the number of air passengers from Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry. From 18,108 domestic air passengers in August 2020, the same month in 2021 witnessed 60,876 passengers which indicates rise in passenger traffic by over 42,000.
During the period between April and August, the passenger footfalls have increased largely this year when compared to the last year. During the period, the number of passengers in Visakhapatnam has gone up from 36,875 to 1,58,092 whereas in Vijayawada they have gone up from 54,125 to 1,75,303. Rajahmundry also witnessed a huge increase from 28,815 to 88,882.
Tirupati Airport Director S Suresh told The Hans India that the flight movements and passenger footfalls have been gradually reaching to pre-Covid period which is a welcome sign. During the first two quarters of the current year, the flight movements from Tirupati have gone up from 1,229 between April and June to 1,914 between July and September. The passenger footfall has increased from 61,250 to 1,53,353 between the two quarters.
A few more domestic services connecting Tirupati with Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Madurai etc., are also under active consideration of flight operators. Flights to Belgaum, Hubli, Gulbarga, Mumbai and Pune are being operated now. The Hyderabad and Delhi flights have been witnessing huge demand, he said.