Brace for costlier flight tickets to and from Goa for six months starting April this year as the Indian Navy has reduced flight movements at Dabolim airport, which it controls, by more than 10 per cent. Coming amid a surge in international and domestic passenger traffic, the reduction in flights will lead to higher ticket prices as supply dwindles.
“The Indian Navy has informed us that they will reduce the number of flights allowed between 12:30 and 15:30 by about 15 flights due to operational reasons. It is a reduction of about five flights per hour from 15 flights per hour allowed earlier,” said an Airports Authority of India (AAI) official, who did not want to be identified Commercial operations at the naval facility are managed by AAI. The airport is also shut for four hours daily for training exercises conducted by the navy. Travel industry executives said the curbs will act as a drag on passenger growth, which was 25.1 per cent in January from the year earlier, a rate that’s reckoned as among the highest in the world. “It is a big negative for airlines as well as travel and tourism sector in that area,” said Sharat Dhall, chief operating officer at Yatra-.com, India’s second-largest online travel portal. “Any reduction in capacity, when the market is growing, would lead to a spike in fares in and out of Goa. High fares might impact tourism in Goa too.
Moreover, it is counter-productive for airlines, which have fleet expansion plans.” Airlines feel the government should seek to ensure that they ..