Only 100 point visibility against 1000 points needed for takeoff; officials say all bookings stand cancelled as flights being rescheduled
Srinagar, Dec 11 : All the Airline companies operating in Srinagar have suffered huge losses up to the tune of almost Rs 50 crore the past five days due to the frequent cancellation of all flights given the dense cover of fog.
Since December 6, all the flight operations at the Srinagar airport stand cancelled due to the thick cover of fog that has gripped valley for the first time since 2014. According to the Meteorological Department (MeT), this is for the first time since 2014 that such a thick cover of fog has gripped Kashmir. “Flight operations stand cancelled due to less visibility. There is only 100 point visibility against 1000 points needed for any flight for landing and take-off,” said a MeT official.
As per the data available with the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the first time thick fog was experienced in the last decade during December was in 2008 with 4 fog days experienced in Srinagar. From 2009 to 2013, there were no such days when thick fog was witnessed in the Valley.
Figures collected by the wire service— from various Airline companies suggest that due to the cancellation of flight operations at the Srinagar airport since December 6, the companies have suffered an estimated Rs 100 crore losses even thought they were able to save fuel expenses as flights could neither take off nor land at the airport since past six days.
An official working at the Srinagar airport told that every day Vistara would take off two flights with 180 passengers on board. “Ticket for each Vistara passenger for Srinagar-Delhi trip costs Rs 8000. So Vistara group of airlines has suffered Rs 15 Crore losses since December 6 alone,” he said.
Similarly, five flights of Air-Asia would take off from Srinagar airport every day and the ticket for each passenger from Srinagar to Delhi would cost Rs 6000 each. This way, an official said, Air-Asia has registered a loss of over Rs 6 crore. Indigo too has borne the brunt of fog as it has witnessed Rs 9 Crore loss since December 5. Go-Air and Spice-jet too have figured out losses up to the tune of Rs 5 crore each.
“No doubt we were able to save fuel expenses which is Rs 1500 per passenger but at the same time, we suffered on booking front as all the bookings got cancelled as all flights stand rescheduled,” an official of Vistara airlines told.
An official at the airport said that there was a visibility issue for the pilots at the airport. “We are praying for rain as that would help reduce the fog cover. MeT department has predicted rainfall and we hope to see rain soon so that uncertainty ends and flight operations are resumed,” the official said. (KNO)