AIR Deccan, the only airline keeping Kanpur alive on the air map, has ceased all its operations here.
Besides, the decision has put a dampener on the much-needed modernisation of the Kanpur airport. According to sources, the Air Deccan has confirmed that the operations at Kanpur were being wound up permanently, putting an end to all conjectures about its Kanpur venture.
The airline company had recently informed the Kanpur airport administration about the constraints it was facing and was unable to continue the operations. It had told the authorities that aircrafts needed an overhaul and the company was unable to resume its services for another two months.
However, the Kanpur airport administration had reacted rather strongly to the missive and asked the Air Deccan to remove all the counters from the airport at the earliest. And the fresh development had taken place at a time when the modernization process had just begun.
“This is indeed a major setback to the plan for modernisation and extension of the airport,” sources said. The plan was approved as other players have agreed to begin services from Kanpur, which generates 70 per cent of the total traffic from the Amausi international airport.
Now all the hopes are pinned on the arrival of Indian as promised by the Minister for Commerce Jairam Ramesh in November this year.
But the chances of Indian operating from the city are dim as the fleet of new aircraft has not reached.
The airport authorities squarely blame the Air Deccan for the entire mess saying they were never interested in services from Kanpur.
The Air Deccan could not attract passengers for three reasons: The timing of flights, irregular flight schedules and the low quality of the aircraft. “The services were available for five days a week. But the flights operated on the Kanpur-Lucknow circuit just three days a week,” sources said.
The primary reason behind it was the lack of adequate fleet of aircraft with the Air Deccan. An aircraft on the Kanpur-Delhi route, said sources, was operating on other circuits. Consequently flights from Kanpur were not getting canceled frequently.
With this kind of schedule, the passengers found flights from Amausi more convenient and gradually the Air Deccan was devoid of passengers. The company even tried Kanpur-Lucknow-Delhi route but the timing and irregularity in schedule could not improve the things.
When contacted, a senior airport manager JPN Pandey said the company had temporarily ceased operations from Kanpur. But he did confirm that the company had been asked to remove its paraphernalia from the airport.