Flight Links To Surat Still Face Covid-19 Turbulence | Surat News – Times of India

Surat: After a long struggle, Surat had got a ‘functionally good’ air connectivity to the city. However, the pandemic clipped its wings and flight operations dropped to less than half post Covid and are even reducing till date.
Before the global pandemic, flights connecting the city to important destinations across the country, operated on 52 routes from the city’s airport which has now dropped to 20. There were multiple airline operators on the same routes which kept the air fares pocket-friendly.
“Airlines discontinued their flights due to Covid and on many routes the flights were not started again. Further, few flights were discontinued recently and now there is a sharp increase in airfares,” said Sanjay Jain, a member of We Work for Working Airport at Surat (WWWAS). The group is run by citizens and they carry out movements for fully functional Surat airport.
City MP and Union minister of state for textile and railways, Darshana Jardosh, raised the issue with concerned authorities after WWWAS made a representation.
“A Rs 5,000 crore development project was started in 2019 for Bengaluru airport which was recently completed. Around the same time, development projects worth Rs 350 crore were started here (Surat) too but these are yet to get completed,” Jain alleged.
“The passenger traffic that touched 1.9 lakh per month has now dipped to about 1 lakh. A majority of the flights were operating at maximum capacity, but we are deprived of air connectivity for reasons unknown,” another member of WWWAS, Linesh Shah, said, adding that if any airline is not operating on a particular route on a given time slot, it should be offered to other airlines immediately.
“Air connectivity is a major concern for the diamond industry when we are working to make Surat Diamond Bourse (SDB) fully functional. We need domestic and international air connectivity to develop the industry,” an SDB committee member told TOI.
“I am not aware why the development projects are taking time to complete since the projects are being handled by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) headquarter. Airlines have discontinued flights due to some of their own issues,” said Aman Saini, airport director, Surat.