Though the aviation industry is grappling with the ever-mounting losses and desperately hoping for an economic revival, airlines in the city have coped with the grim situation and managed to ensure the inflow of passenger traffic, says the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
According to traffic data released by AAI, the total flights from Indore have come down by 5.1% in January 2015 as compared to January 2014 but the passenger traffic has shot up by 23% during the same period.
Around 1.22 lakh people travelled by air from Indore in January 2015 as compared to 98,975 lakh flyers during the same month in 2014. However, flights from Indore dropped to 1,154 from 1,216 during the corresponding period.
Passenger traffic from Bhopal, another major airport of Madhya Pradesh, showed a growth of 9.2% in January 2015 as compared to January 2014 even though the total number of flights dropped by 24%.
Travel operators say the falling airfares coupled with poor rail connectivity have played a role in attracting passengers.
“With the increase in disposable incomes, people don’t mind shelling out a few thousand bucks more than the air-conditioned train fares if they get a direct flight,” travel agent Dilip Ramani says.
The number of people going for vacations and business purposes is also on the rise.
Indore is now connected by air to all the major cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Benguluru, Hyderabad and Pune.
Air Arabia and Emirates Airlines have also conducted surveys to launch international flights from Indore to the Middle East; however, no final decision has been taken in this regard.
Earlier this year, SpiceJet withdrew its flights from Indore-Delhi and Indore-Hyderabad routes for what it called ‘operational reasons’.
However, the seat occupancy in other flights has increased with the rise in demand resulting in impressive growth in passenger traffic.
Indigo to launch two more flights
Budget carrier Indigo has announced that it will be launching two more flights from Indore - one each to Delhi and Mumbai - from March 29. The flight to Delhi will depart at 9:20 pm and reach Delhi at 10:55 pm while the morning flight to Mumbai will depart at 8:10 am and reach Mumbai at 9:45 am. Travel experts said with the traffic from the city growing at an impressive rate, Indigo is looking to fill up the space vacated by SpiceJet.