VIJAYAWADA: In what could be a setback to international flight operations from Vijayawada, the State government is planning to call fresh expressions of interest (EOI) for services to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Singapore, if sources are to be believed.
This came after IndiGo, the only airline that offers international services from the city, terminated its flight to Singapore on June 26. The reason: non-renewal of the agreement (between the government and the airline) after its tenure ended. However, the authorities are not too optimistic about operators showing interest in the offer, the sources said, adding Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai were still being considered major destinations.
The first international flight from Vijayawada (for Singapore) was launched on December 4 last year. The good response which the bi-weekly service received initially did not last long. The previous government was able to rope in Indigo on the condition that it would pay the carrier Rs 3 crore towards viability gap funding if the passenger load was less than 50 per cent. This, eventually, became a huge burden on the State government, which is believed to have led to the non-renewal of the agreement.
It might be added here that Air India suspended its services to Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Hyderabad a few days ago owing to the financial crisis it is going through. Meanwhile, the airline will now operate its flight to Delhi only four days a week; has suspended services to Tirupati and Bengaluru and reduced one flight to Visakhapatnam.