India’s leading private airline IndiGo has decided to temporarily halt direct services from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad from May 1, citing “commercial viability” reasons.
However, the airline’s online bookings to Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad non-stop are open, again from August 1.
The airline has already notified passengers who have booked to Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad between May 1 and July 31 about the temporary suspension of services to the two Indian cities.
A passenger said he was “offered either a full refund or rebooking via another IndiGo destination in India that caters to Doha.”
When contacted C Leekha, director (Corporate Communications) at IndiGo Airlines said, “With high demand due to holiday season approaching and commercial viability reasons, IndiGo flights operating on Ahmedabad and Trivandrum to Doha routes will now fly out of Mumbai and Delhi respectively. This said, we will continue to explore various alternate routes which will enable us to optimally utilise our fleet. We are committed to serve the air-transportation needs of the Indian public with on-time, courteous and hassle-free and low fares proposition.”
She, however, did not say whether the decision to halt services to Thiruvananthapuram and Ahmedabad was temporary or not.
Many Qatar-based passengers were dismayed by the Indian carrier’s decision as it was “affecting their travel plans during the peak season.”
A Doha resident from Thiruvananthapuram said, “The Indian carriers’ decision is very surprising. If they have taken this decision based on the load factor, they must try and find a better schedule to these two cities, particularly Thiruvananthapuram.
“Currently, people lose one whole day when they fly to the Kerala capital as this airline’s service to Thiruvananthapuram is during the day time. Thousands of Qatar residents, including many from southern Tamil Nadu, are regularly using Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. So, load factor cannot be an issue on the Doha – Thiruvananthapuram route, if the schedule is good.”
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