THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala will get 30 more services every day in domestic and international sectors when the winter schedules of various airlines are announced by the end of October. They include five on the Thiruvananthapuram-Delhi route, said Union Civil Aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola.
The announcement came at a meeting of airline CEOs convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in the backdrop of the fall in the number of services from Trivandrum International Airport. The CM asked the airlines to respond positively to the state government’s cut on Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) tax.
He assured the airlines to reduce it further when they start more flights. Earlier, the state had reduced ATF tax from 25 pc to 5 pc for three airports except Kannur where it was one per cent. Pinarayi raised concern over the exorbitant rates in the Gulf sector, especially during festival season. He asked the airlines to announce the schedule for festival season well in advance. He also called for direct services to European destinations.
Kharola said the state government’s interventions for improving connectivity were a model to other states. About 40 pc of the cost incurred by airlines is for ATF. Hence, the tax cut would help in the sector’s development. Kharola also said Indian carriers often fail to utilise the seat quota as per the agreement with different foreign countries. Hence, more foreign services cannot be sanctioned.
Huge drop in number of services at Tvm airport
T’Puram: Trivandrum International Airport saw a drop of 645 flights in 2018-19, as per the AAI statistics. The drop between April and June in 2019-20 was 1,579. Of them, 1,005 were international flights.
“This is a huge setback to the state, especially Thiruvananthapuram, which is set for a major expansion in the IT industry. National and international IT majors are making huge investments in Thiruvananthapuram. The Vizhinjam Port project and the tourism sector too require more connectivity,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan told the meeting of airline CEOs.