Chennai Airport to get new flights

Wednesday, November 17, 2010, 15:23 by Aviation Correspondent

With international aviation traffic enjoying a high, several airlines have been expressing their interest in starting new services to Chennai, and ones who already service the city are keen to increase their number of flights.

Among the airlines that are interested are Air Seychelles, which has recently received permission to start a direct Seychelles – Chennai flight. RAK Airways, a Middle East based carrier is reportedly keen to begin services to and from Chennai airport. Air Asia, which already flies into Chennai has reportedly decided to add four more flights in the Chennai – Kuala Lumpur route starting January 2011. SpiceJet has recently started flights between Chennai and Colombo. This route is also being serviced by Kingfisher and Jet Airways.

The main factor driving the new services was the increase of leisure travelers who will be interested to fly into Chennai. This is Air Seychelles main draw. Adding to this is the major medical tourism boom that India is seeing. Many people from the Seychelles also have traditional or family links to Chennai, which causes them to fly into South India regularly. Right now, their only option is to fly to Chennai via Singapore, making their travel more expensive. The weekly service that Air Seychelles plans to operate from Chennai is sure to be well received by folks in Seychelles.

Air Asia will be increasing frequency by 11 flights per week from Chennai say reports. The carrier offers a special fare – an all inclusive one-way fare of Rs 2,999 that is available for purchase between November 16 and 21 and should be used for travel between January 21 and June 30. Sources at the airline say that Chennai is a very popular destination among Malaysians and travelers from Chennai are increasingly using Kuala Lumpur as a connecting gateway to over 130 routes in Asian countries. The carrier has been consistently enjoyed a strong loadfactor within the first few months of flying this route. The sources said that the new flights will depart from Chennai airport at 6 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays.

Airport officials in Chennai Airport have revealed that international passenger traffic is rising, and that they have seen almost a 7% increase in passenger traffic in 2009-10.

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