SriLankan to fly Ahmedabad from October
by Shirajiv Sirimane
SriLankan airlines have decided to expand their flights to Ahmedabad commencing from next October. This would be the eleventh destination by the national carrier to India.
According to the Regional Manager Asia Pacific SriLankan airlines, Mohammed Fazil there was a demand for this route and this was one reason to promote this destination.
The airline operates 66 flights a week to Cochin, Trivandrum, Chennai, Trichi Bangalore, New Delhi, Bodhgaya and Bombay.
The recent destinations to India were Hyderabad and Calicut. "The operation to Ahmedabad will bring about better connectivity to western India which will also lead to growth in business travellers and tourism, both inbound and outbound," he said.
President Travel Agents Association of India, Balbir S. Mayal who was in Sri Lanka last week said that they welcome this move as this destination has tremendous tourism potential.
"A religious, cultural and historical panorama unfolds in Ahmedabad (Gujarat) where some of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Hindus and Jains are found. It is also famous for many palaces that have now been converted into heritage hotels," he said.
He said that added flight would bring in more Indian tourists who prefer to travel to Sri Lanka. A new market is emerging with more companies deciding to host their conferences and other events in Sri Lanka. He said that their Association too decided to have their annual general meeting in Sri Lanka.
"The Indian government should now take a cue from the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Nepal and adopt a visa on arrival policy for Sri Lankans. Sri Lanka has recorded the fourth highest tourist arrivals to India last year, he said.
He said that until this policy is adopted, the Indian embassy should try provide multiple visa's to Sri Lankans who apply for it.
Singapore Airlines will operate three flights a week to Singapore from July 28 and will be the first foreign airline to operate out of Ahmedabad. An estimated 200,000 passengers from Ahmedabad used national carriers Air-India and Indian Airlines, the only two airlines providing direct overseas flights out of the city in 2003.
Ahmedabad's importance as a major commercial hub in the western region offers huge potential for SIA and its strategic location could help the airline serve those travelling to neighbouring Rajashtan and Madhya Pradesh states.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 1059 times:
The problem with AMD alas is that international terminal facilities there are virtually non-existant. The airport already struggles to handle the traffic it receives and the addition of extra service while the construction of the new terminal is stopped (in one of his first acts in power, the new Minister ordered construction to stop while he appointed a committee to look into the plans) is simply a recipe for disaster.
Indianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1039 times:
This is not an airport that can realistically handle the explosion in traffic without infrastructural improvements.
Amen. I think the AAI should privatise the Terminal facilities and outsource these non-core areas to private parties. This should be done not just in AMD, but in all the 12 airports identified as gateways, COK, MAA, HYD, BLR.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 981 times:
How is GAY regarding international terminal facilities?
I don't know what the facilities there are, but the problem in AMD is overcapacity. They already are handling over 2000 daily international passengers and the system is not capable of processing that many. Ad-hoc or infrequent flights like GAY gets (1x weekly UL from CMB, 2x weekly IC from BKK/CCU) can be easily handled.
I have also heard from a source at AAI that the ministry has ordered a stay on approving new service to AMD until the terminal project gets sorted out. I know that Malaysian and JAL were both told that their applications would NOT be approved for the winter 2004 season, and I would assume that SriLankan would be facing the same problem. August 31 is the deadline for submitting winter schedule applications for new service so there is still time if they want to try, but unless they fly significantly off-peak flights (mid-afternoon) I highly doubt they will be approved.
Indianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (8 years 10 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 962 times:
have also heard from a source at AAI that the ministry has ordered a stay on approving new service to AMD until the terminal project gets sorted out.
Anyway stopping foreign airlines from tapping AMD works only to AI's benefit. I say scrap these archaic regulations that allow for the monopoly that AI commands along with all the negatives of that.
Its high time these regulations were done way with. There is no reason that AI should be treated with kid gloves anymore. Air India is like the kid that refuses to grow up and continues to hold on to daddys hand! (Much like the 30 yr old who uses daddys connections to waggle free tickets! lol! )
All the 12 airports previously identified as gateways must be opened up to international competition. Let EK, QR, SQ and BA come in. Allow BA to fly LHR-AMD if the market demands. Its the market that should decide not Air India. And If Air India cannot compete o its own, then let other Indian carriers come in.