IPL, VIP visits boost chartered flight movements by 20% | Ahmedabad News

AHMEDABAD: Even during the lean summer months, the Sardar Vallabhbhai International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad has seen a significant increase in chartered flights. In April and May (until May 25), 1,075 charter flights operated from the airport, averaging about 550 monthly movements. Airport sources have confirmed a 20% growth in charter movements during these two months, attributed to the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches and the VIP and corporate visits to the city.
“Similar spikes in charter aircraft movements were observed during elections, the Defence Expo and the month-long Pramukh Swami Mahotsav held in December-January, which saw devotees and VVIPs arriving on charter flights. In December-January, there were 750 charter movements at SVPI airport, which increased to 1,075 in April and May,” said a well-placed source privy to the development.
The upcoming weekend is expected to surge in charter flights as cricket fans and VVIPs arrive for the high-stakes IPL finale at the Motera stadium on Sunday. “The Chennai Super Kings team has already arrived on a scheduled charter flight, and other players, VVIPs, and invitees from around the world are expected to fly in on charter flights on Sunday,” said another source.
The rise in charter aircraft and helicopter movements can be attributed to various factors such as frequent corporate travel, visits by foreign nationals, and the growing demand for luxury travel. “Limited parking availability and higher charges at nearby major airports, including Mumbai, have redirected a significant portion of air traffic to SVPI airport in Ahmedabad,” said an aviation industry source.
On May 25 alone, 27 charter aircraft movements occurred at the city airport. Sometimes, even diplomats and other VVIP visits necessitate international charter flights to Ahmedabad.
“Approximately 8-10% of the total traffic at the airport comes from international charter aircraft movements, with around 86 charter aircraft landing and departing from the city airport in recent months,” said a top source at the airport.
The rise in private jet operators offering non-scheduled charter services is contributing to the growth of the charter aircraft and helicopter movement ecosystem. “The increase is despite the rising costs of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) and other operational expenses,” said an operator, without willing to be named.

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