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Navy rejects time slots for new Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada flight

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The Times Of India
22nd August, 2019 04:26 IST

Visakhapatnam: The proposal for operating a new flight from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada by Alliance Air has been rejected by the Indian Navy. Last month, Alliance Air had withdrawn one of its flights from Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada-Tirupati, as it changed its base to Hyderabad.

However, representatives of Andhra Pradesh Air Travellers Association (APATA) met officials of Air India at Delhi, requesting for continuation of the flight as there was a high demand. On request, Alliance Air had agreed to start new operations from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada by restructuring its schedule.

The airline had proposed for a daily slot at 6.55 pm to 7.55 pm from Vijayawada to Vizag and 8.25- 9.25 pm from Visakhapatnam to Vijayawada. However, the Naval authorities regretted the required slots in Vizag.

“As per the Navy, Alliance Air flight is exceeding the declared airport capacity at Vizag. Alliance Air is unable to operate on the offered slots given by Navy due to available resource and aircraft rotation constraints. This flight is required to continue connectivity between Vizag and Vijayawada and is a requirement of the state,” stated a letter from Alliance Air.

The slots were re-examined by Alliance Air and new time slots were proposed — 7.05-8.05 pm from Vijayawada to Vizag and 8.35 pm to 9 35 pm from Vizag to Vijayawada. But the Navy rejected the proposal again.

In a letter to Alliance Air, the Navy stated, “The proposal has been re-examined from operations point of view at the Naval Air Station Visakhapatnam. It is reiterated that the movements in requested slots are exceeding the declared runway capacity. Hence, the flight can be accommodated in the alternate time windows; 6-7 pm or 10 to 11 pm.”

APATA Vice-President O Naresh Kumar said that the Navy had rejected the time slots given by the airline, twice.

“It is sad to see that Vizag has lost its connectivity to its capital. Even after repeated attempts to get back the connectivity, our efforts went in vain. The issue will be taken up to the Defence Minister. If Navy operations are shifted to Bhogapuram airport, connectivity from Visakhapatnam to other destinations can be increased,” added Naresh.

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