A&N Islands’ Tourism & Hospitality Industry calls for increase in flight frequency – BW Businessworld

The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has submitted a representation to Govind Mohan, Additional Secretary (UT), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, requesting to remove the restriction imposed on the number of incoming flights at Port Blair and to allow at least 10 flights a day. Before the pandemic, Andaman & Nicobar Islands had 22 operational flights per day which now has been restricted to less than four. 
“The travel and tourism industry in the UT of Andaman & Nicobar are facing massive hardships due to the restriction of flights to the Island. There has been no tourism activity since the last eighteen months and the economy of UT is in dire straits. Limiting flights is disrupting not just the industry but life on the island. Ironically, no such restriction applies on flights anywhere else across India. To recover from the damage is going to require a massive amount of effort and time and removing the current restriction on the number of incoming flights to allow at least ten flights a day will be a good start. This will still be less than 50 per cent of flights in operation at Port Blair compared to the pre-pandemic levels,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.
The Association has pointed out that between October 2021 and March 2022, flight movement on Port Blair will be restricted to before 2 pm only on account of recarpeting of the runway. Thus, limiting Port Blair Airport from operating at full capacity even during the peak tourist season. 
“Before Covid-19, Andaman & Nicobar Islands had 22 operational flights a day which is now restricted to less than four flights. As a result, the islanders are unable to obtain tickets. Also, airfares have skyrocketed and the curtailment of flights has led to cancellations and cut-offs from many metros and important cities. Students and patients who are unable to secure seats are suffering the most due to this. We hope that Government will understand the plight of the people of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands and allow the operation of at least ten flights a day immediately so that airlines can incorporate the same in their new schedule from September 2021 onwards,” Kohli added.
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