Jet Airways to withdraw services from CG sector

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Jan 2019 11:51:42


 

Staff Reporter,

Raipur,

At a time, when more and more private players are entering into the fray to tap the massive potential of Chhattisgarh sector in civil aviation, the decision of Jet Airways (I) Limited, the Mumbai-based international airline to wind-up its whole operation in the state has left the frequent  fliers baffled.

The second-largest airline in India after Indigo, which boasted of 17.8 passenger market share in civil aviation industry, has conveyed to the authorities of Airports Authority of India (AAI) at Swami Vivekananda Airport that it has decided to shut down its operational activities in Chhattisgarh. “Jet Airways (I) Limited is closing down its operations at Raipur Airport with effect from 10th February, 2019, due to operational reasons,” reads the official communiqué send by Dharmendra Singh, Station Manager, Jet Airways, Raipur to AAI officials here in Raipur.

Meanwhile, another letter from Dr S C Nerker, Head of Administration and Property, Jet Airways, Mumbai informed the AAI officials of Raipur Airport that it wanted to hand over the vacant possession of their space, which includes back-up office, ticketing office, cargo warehouse barrack and parking space for GSE (all measuring 182.40 square feet), with effect from February 14, 2019 onwards. The letter also urged the AAI officials to advice the concerned department not to raise any further invoice (s) against the airways from
Feb 15, 2019.

“Having operated in the sector for quite long time in Chhattisgarh, Jet Airways recently communicated with us that it was winding up the domestic service and cited operational restraint as the reason,” Raipur Airport Director Rakesh R Sahay told The Hitavada.

According to Sahay, around a month from now, the closure of Jet Airways will lead to the closure of 2 flights and its 4 movements between Delhi-Raipur/Raipur-Delhi (9W711/9W712) and  Mumbai-Raipur/Raipur-Mumbai (9W387/9W388) respectively. 

Meanwhile, the news of Jet Airways decision has put both the fliers and travel agents in discomfort since it used to be considered as economically viable option among the ones operating in the sector. Few passengers even expressed their apprehension that the winding-up of the Jet Airways would pave way for other private carriers to extort more money from them.

Tata SIA Airlines Limited, operating as Vistara, an Indian domestic airline based in Gurgaon, on Friday proposed the Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA) to start its operation to Chhattisgarh sector.

The private carrier, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has proposed to operate two flights with four movements from Raipur Airport, with effective from March 31st, 2019. “The two flights proposed to DGCA by Vistara, includes UK797 Delhi-Raipur/ UK798 Raipur-Delhi in the morning slot (0820 hours/0855 hours) and another for evening slot UK793 Delhi-Raipur/UK 794 Raipur-Delhi (1945 hours/2020 hours). However, there are chances that the Vistara may get clearance for commencement of morning flight,” said Raipur Airport Director Rakesh R Sahay.

The news of Vistara proposing to start its operations comes as sigh of relief for the frequent fliers, who were disheartened with the news of Jet Airways closing its operations in Chhattisgarh sector. With a share of 3.3 percent in domestic carrier market, which makes it 6th largest domestic airline, Vistara at present serves twenty-two destinations with a fleet of Airbus A320-200 aircraft. Vistara was the first airline to introduce premium economy seats on domestic routes in India.

Indigo, the budget carrier, on Friday has proposed to add one more flight to Chhattisgarh sector. The largest airline has confirmed to operate a direct non-stop flight to connect Raipur with Ahmedabad.  The low-cost carrier has proposed to start the new flight from April 1st, 2019 onwards.

“The carrier has proposed to operate a flight during afternoon hours from Raipur to Ahmedabad. The solo non-stop flight proposed to be started will have two movements viz. 6E486 Ahmedabad-Raipur/6E487 Raipur-Ahmedabad (1445 hours/1515 hours),” said the Raipur Airport Director while talking to this newspaper.

According to the Airport Director, Indigo, which is the seventh largest carrier in Asia, will add 19th flight to Chhattisgarh sector and thereby taking to a total 38 movements, with effect from first day of new financial year 2019-2020.