TRICHY: Air passengers have expressed disappointment at the temporary suspension of the daily flight between Trichy and Sharjah on two days a week from mid-February.
The reason for the cut in the service is alleged to be the proposed service between Surat and Sharjah. Passengers said that a city’s development should not be at the cost of another developing city.
According to airport sources, Air India Express will cut two services for a week temporarily on Sunday and Tuesday effective from February 19 till March-end. As per a communique from the airlines to the Trichy airport authorities, IX614 SHJ/TRZ will not be operated on Mondays and Saturdays effective February 16 to March 30. The same way, IX 613 TRZ/SHJ will not be operated on Tuesdays and Sundays effective from February 17 to March 31.
It was after a seven-year wait that Air India Express resumed the service in the sector on September 16 thanks to representations and recommendations from various quarters. Kuwait-Tamil Islamic Community (K-Tic) had also worked for it, said H Ubaidullah, an independent aviation analyst based in Trichy.
“When the flight is being operated with good patronage, it is an injustice to cut it and divert it to another sector. Passengers from central districts have no other choice to reach Sharjah than this flight. The airline could have utilized any of the flights operated from Kozhikode, Kochi or Varanasi as these airports have multiple choices or alternative flights to Sharjah”, he opined.
At a time when passengers from the central region have been demanding new flights and more services to Gulf countries, it was unfair to snatch the existing services and divert them to other destinations, said the president of Air, Rail and Road Travellers’ Federation M Sekaran. “First they will say it will be a temporary one and then make it permanent. As we suspect some ulterior motive behind the move, we will not allow this,” he added.