Reeling under massive financial crisis, the Jet Airways on Saturday announced suspension of one more flight from Bhuj in Kutch. The decision comes days after it suspended another flight from the same place. Passengers who had booked a seat on the Saturday noon flight said they were not given any reason for the abrupt cancellation of the flight.
They were offered a choice between taking refund or opt for flight adjustment from Rajkot or Ahmedabad. However, they would have to reach either of these places on their own. The authorities reportedly announced that the morning flight would be suspended till March 31. Vimal Shah, MD of Happy Holidays, a travel agency in Bhuj, expressed surprise at the decision. He said, “Jet Airways was getting good response. Most of the times, all seats would be booked. Now, we are left with just one direct flight, that too up to Mumbai.”
He was referring to the Air India flight that operates once a week, on Monday. It is a 65-seater aircraft. Naresh Maheshwari of Madhapar said, “Many of my relatives are in Africa and the US. Air travel is the only option for us, but even that is gone. Now we will have to travel up to Ahmedabad or Rajkot, which is timeconsuming as well as tiring.”
It is noteworthy that Bhuj has had an aerodrome since before Independence. In 1923, Tata used to operate flight on the Karachi-Bhuj-Mumbai route. Sources pointed out that trains connecting Bhuj with Mumbai are always fully booked and that it is extremely difficult to book a ticket during winters, festivals and summer holiday.
In an official statement, a Jet Airways spokesperson said, “Jet Airways has undertaken and continues to make proactive adjustments to its flight schedule keeping in mind the likely, yet interim non-availability of some aircraft in its fleet in the foreseeable future. The airline has kept the regulator (DGCA) as well as its guests informed of these changes. Guest compensation had been handled in line with defined regulatory guidelines (CAR), including alternate choices being offered for re-accommodation on alternate flights or applicable refunds as per the situation. The airline regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests.”
18/03/19 Kulsum Yusuf/Ahmedabad Mirror