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Passenger traffic doubles at Srinagar airport

New Delhi: In signs of increased business in the valley, air passenger traffic at the Srinagar airport has more than doubled in October, with the number of flights and travellers going up.

According to data available from the government department, Srinagar airport handled 3.32 lakh passengers on 2,460 flights in October against 1.63 lakh travellers on 1,227 flights a year back.

Last week, an Icra report had said that domestic air passenger traffic in the country had grown by a whopping 67 per cent year-on-year at around 87-88 lakh in October, on the back of festive season demand amid a continuous fall in the number of COVID-19 infection cases.

And the trend was visible in Srinagar as well. Air traffic rose month-on-month and year-on-year.

Air travel from the airport in the valley has been on a steady rise since the second wave of the coronavirus ebbed.

The Srinagar airport handled 2.54 passengers on 2,127 flights in April this year. This fell to 91,507 passengers on 1,042 flights in the following month.

However, the traffic started to grow thereafter. In June, the airport handled 1.65 lakh passengers on 1,437 flights, which further rose to 2.45 lakh travellers on 1,989 flights in July and 2.67 passengers on 2,144 flights in August.

In September, this further rose to 2.7 lakh passengers on 2,152 flights, the data showed.

The airport handled just 30 flights in April 2020 when the nation was under a complete lockdown to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Once the lockdown restrictions were eased, the flights increased to 723 in June, which carried 85,693 passengers. By September that year, the number of flights rose to 1,093, carrying 1.4 lakh passengers.

According to Icra, domestic carriers nationwide operated 46 per cent more flights at 72,000 during October over 49,150 departures logged in a year back.

However, higher aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices continue to pose a near-term challenge, with price seeing a sequential increase of 13.9 per cent in November 2021, it said.

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