• Surti fliers pin their hopes on intra-state air service’s success

    With Gujarat signing up for Centre’s regional air-connectivity scheme, Surtis are looking at a major overhaul of Surat airport in the coming months. It is expected that the national carrier, Air India will show interest in the scheme as it already operates CRJ aircraft on Surat-Mumbai route.
    Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials believe many private airlines will be attracted towards Surat and other cities in the state under the regional air-connectivity scheme.
    Airport director, Surat airport, Pramod Kumar Thakre, told TOI, “The regional air-connectivity scheme would prove to be beneficial to the Diamond City. With central and state governments offering perks to the airlines in VAT, ATF and viability gap funding (VGF), they will be more than happy to set up operations in Surat too.”
    Thakre added, “With the 2,905-metre runway likely to be completed by January 2017, there are massive opportunities for the fliers in Diamond City. Surat airport will be classified as 4D airport, like the one in Ahmedabad.”
    For the passengers, the proposal of a fare cap of Rs 2,500 an hour of flight on regional routes would be a game changer. Though, the airlines are not convinced with the fare cap, they will have to accept it as decided under the scheme. Harold Carmichael Jersey

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