A year on, international flights remain grounded at Sgr Airport
Srinagar, Dec 22 (KNO): Started with much fanfare, international flight at Srinagar airport has failed to take off for the last one year.
Amit Shah, the union Home minister, inaugurated the Srinagar-Sharjah Go First flight at the airport.
The flight service, however, halted operation on March 27, 2022, since the airline filed for bankruptcy before the National Company Law Tribunal.
As per a document accessed by news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), the aviation ministry has cited economic viability of the route and other associated factors as the main reason behind the non-operation of international flights.
“Earlier, Go First used to operate international services on the Srinagar-Sharjah sector, which were later discontinued by the airline in 2022. Indian designated carriers are free to mount scheduled operations to and fro any international airport, including Srinagar International Airport, to foreign destinations under the ambit of bilateral Air Service Agreements concluded by India with foreign countries,” it said.
The aviation ministry in the document said Indian designated carriers are free to mount scheduled operations to and fro any international airport, including Srinagar International Airport, to foreign destinations “under the ambit of bilateral Air Service Agreements concluded by India with foreign countries.”
The ministry said the initiation of international flights from any point in India is purely a ‘commercial decision made by scheduled airlines.’
Director Srinagar airport, Javed Anjum told KNO the flight service couldn’t operate due to the fall in the number of passengers.
“Passenger availability was a major concern for the airline. No flight will operate without passengers or just with few passengers on board,” he said.
Meanwhile, locals and travel trade stakeholders said the direct Srinagar-Sharjah flight would have brought respite to the people especially traders who are frequent travellers.
“Srinagar international airport would live up to its name if international flights operated at the airport. The direct Srinagar- Sharjah flight has brought much respite to the traders, who frequently travel to Dubai. We would have even received tourists from Gulf in much numbers if the service continued,” said Basharat Ahmad, a trader—(KNO)