The airport closure on Sunday and only two out of three Shatabdis operating increased the demand for cabs to Delhi in the city on Sunday. The fares also saw an increase as compared to normal days. It was the first time when the airport remained closed after October 3 owing to the runway upgradation of the Chandigarh airport. Travel operators in the city said that there was a demand for cabs on Sunday. “I usually send around 10 cabs to Delhi on a daily basis. Today, there was a rush and I sent more than 15 cabs to Delhi,” said Gagandeep Singh, of the Gagan Travel in the city.
Another taxi operator said that there was a shortage of cabs after 2 pm because the demand was high. From Chandigarh airport, the maximum number of flights are for Delhi. Not only the Chandigarh airport, there were only two Shatabdi train to Delhi. Other than Sunday, there are three Shatabdi trains which operate from Chandigarh to Delhi. The afternoon Shatabdi remains off on Sunday.
While the travel operators say the demand was more, passengers complained that the taxi operators also increased the fares on Sunday.
“The fare for a Delhi drop is Rs 2,500. On Sunday, I paid Rs 3,200 because I was told there is a shortage of cabs today,” said Sanjay Chauhan, a Panchkula resident.
From October 3, the new watch hours by the Indian Air Force which manages the runway of the airport changes the watch hours of the airport. The airport is currently available only till 4 pm. The airlines also curtailed several flights because of the limited operating time at the airport. Till the runway work is completed, the IAF has said that the airport will remain closed on Sundays as well.
The coming winter is all set to see a massive air traffic disruption because due to runway upgradation, the air field lights will also not remain available for the airlines, which will make it difficult for the airlines during the landing in foggy situations.