Chennai Airport Not Airline Operator Friendly

Monday, 4th August 2014 at 04:29am

Chennai attracts more foreign visitors than any other city in India, logging more than 3 million visitors annually. However, airline operators are not excited about operating from its airport, the Chennai International Airport.

Airlines argue that the airport is not up to global standards when it comes to its facilities, and even its airport staff. They call the airport service rendered by its staff as lousy compared that of airport terminals operated by private companies.

Chennai International Airport is a government-owned facility operated by Airports Authority of India.

Private-owned carriers reportedly never really like to operate from the airport due to the poor service and facilities. However, the world-class tourist attractions in the city and its surrounding regions make Chennai a magnet to millions of visitors year after year.

When the government dangled a premium space at its domestic terminal, AirAsia readily grabbed the opportunity to base their operations there. A couple of years later, the scenario changed, and AirAsia is already planning to make a move its HQ out of the airport. According to AirAsia India CEO, Mittu Chandilya, its mother unit is really keen on pulling out of Chennai and they couldn't do something about it.

DGCA has recently issued permits to four of the reportedly 6 new airlines, and none of these new players are keen to operate from Chennai. This, despite Chennai International Airport's reputation as the largest aviation hub in the South India region.

Mittu Chandilya remarked that their planes need a turnaround time of 20 minutes or less but, quite unfortunately, the existing situation at Chennai International Airport couldn't cope up with the demand.

He added that speedy service is all that matters to most passengers, as well as airlines. Delayed delivery of service will mean revenue loss. Getting their baggage to the conveyor, for instance, customers need not wait too long to claim them.

He further lamented about higher fuel taxation in Chennai than in other major cities like Delhi.

Most airlines prefer Bangalore and Delhi over Chennai to operate their hubs due to these conditions, according to an airline source, who refused to identify himself.

The young CEO also revealed that his airline is going where they are welcome and is economically viable to operate.

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