Domestic airlines will operate over 16,500 flights every week this winter, an increase of nearly 21 per cent as compared to last year, to cater to rising passenger numbers.
While there is a steep jump in total number of flights by various carriers, the number of airports having scheduled flights has come down to 76 in the current winter schedule.
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The reduction in the number of aerodromes from 81 in the last winter also seems to reflect the challenges in implementing the ambitious regional air connectivity scheme.
In the winter schedule starting from October 30, the weekly frequencies of IndiGo will increase by 42 per cent to 6,276, against 4,411 every week last year.
Under the approved winter schedule, a total of 16,600 flights would be operated per week by the domestic airlines as against 13,744 flights operated by them in the last winter schedule, a senior DGCA official said on Tuesday.
The increased in flight number translates to a jump of 20.8 per cent in overall frequencies.
The winter schedule will extend till last week of March 2017.
According to DGCA, this time the number of operational airports for scheduled flights would be only 75 since there are no such services from six aerodromes–Porbandar (Gujarat), Mysore (Karnataka), Puducherry, Durgapur (West Bengal), Nanded (Maharashtra) and Car Nicobar.
Most carriers, except Air India, Jet Airways and Air Costa, have increased the number of their flights per week in winter schedule.
Air India and Jet have marginally reduced the number of weekly flights to 1,721 and 3,010, respectively as compared to last years 1,732 and 3,040, respectively.
Air Costa has also cut down the weekly flights this year to 152 from 238 in the year-ago period.
SpiceJet has increased the number of weekly flights to 2,088, GoAir to 1,209, Jetlite to 507, Vistara to 490, Air Asia to 404, Alliance Air to 390 and Trujet to 182.
Regional carrier Air Carnival, which started operations recently, would be operating 35 weekly flights.
Air Pegasus, which has suspended operations amid tough business conditions, has proposed to have 136 weekly flights in this schedule. It operated 120 flights per week last year.
“Approval of Pegasus will be in abeyance as their operations are suspended as of now,” the official said.
Domestic air passenger traffic jumped nearly 24 per cent in August to 83.81 lakh from 67.60 lakh during the same period last year.
The domestic air travel demand during the January-August period of this year, however, surged 23.14 per cent to 644.68 lakh fliers as compared to 523.55 lakh flown by the domestic carriers in the same period of 2015.