Tribune News Service
Bathinda, November 15
The Air Alliance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Air India, has grounded Bathinda-Jammu flight till March 31 due to operational issues and the ongoing renovation of Jammu Airport.
It is learnt that flights on the Bathinda-Jammu route have been lying non-operational since October 27, when the winter schedule (between October 27 and March 28, 2020) was announced. Earlier, Bathinda-Jammu flight was operating five days a week from the Bathinda airport at Virk Kalan.
Director of the Bathinda airport Varinder Singh said: “In the winter schedule announced recently, the Bathinda – Jammu flight has been grounded till March 31 by the Air Alliance and it is upto the airline to decide when they will restart it.”
It is also learnt that low occupancy is also the reason behind the move as it was operating at 70 percent of its capacity, which is considered low.
Initially when the flight started, it did not get good response and ran at low occupancy, but with time, the response on Bathinda-Delhi route improved and more people started opting for flight while traveling to Delhi from here.
Prior to its inauguration in December 2016, the Bathinda airport also remained a non-starter for four years as no airline showed interest in operating flights from a city which is neither an industrial nor a business hub.
The state government had acquired 42 acres at Virk Kalan village and handed it over to the Airports Authority of India (AAI), which spent Rs25 crore to construct a civil enclave, adjoining Bhisiana Air Force Station. The airport building is under the control of the AAI while the runway, air traffic and emergency services are in the domain of the Air Force.
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