ICC Cricket World Cup: Ahmedabad airport sees surge in chartered flights

Many celebrities, including actors Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh, and cricketer Sachin Tendulkar who attended the final, flew into the city on private chartered flights.

Ahmedabad airport recorded thrice the number of private chartered/VIP flights in the build-up to the final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as compa­red to the average four-day period.

The airport, which usually operates around 64 chartered flights in a span of four days, is set to handle 205 such flights between Novem­ber 17 and 20, as celebrities and other VIPs descended to watch the India-Australia match.

Many celebrities, including actors Shah Rukh Khan, Deepika Padu­kone and Ranveer Singh, and cricketer Sachin Tend­ul­kar who attended the final, flew in on private chartered flights.

“Various teams have worked round-the-clock on such high-intensity days.

“It involved some unorthodox yet meticulous roster planning. Additional manpower was deployed across various categories,” an Ahmedabad airport spo­kesperson told Business Standard.

Personnel from other airports were roped in to assist in operat­ions.

Allied resource requirements, such as hospitality staff, housekeeping, and food and beverages, were augmented to ensure quality service, the spokesperson added.

Chartered flights are different from scheduled ones that are run by commercial airlines.

On an average day, the airport, run by the Adani Group, sees seven to eight arrivals and departures each handling a total of 16 private chartered flights.

The airport has seen an increased activity of such flights in October and November on the back of the cricket season and festivals such as Diwali.

It recorded 11 departures and 13 arrivals (private chartered flights) on November 17, a day after the South Africa-Australia semi-final when the Australian team arrived in the city.

On November 18, it handled 10 departures and nine arrivals.

A day later on Sunday, it saw 47 departures and 76 arrivals, totalling 123 private chartered flights.

The airport is scheduled to operate 35 departures and eight arrivals on Monday.

In the run-up to the India-Pak­istan ODI in Ahmedabad on Oct­o­ber 14, the airport handled a total of 22 and 23 private chartered fli­g­h­ts on October 12 and 13 respectively.

On the day of the India-Pakistan match on October 14, the airport recorded 30 departures and 29 arrivals.

A day after the match on October 15, the airport handled 21 flights.

Airfares from various domestic destinations to Ahmedabad have experienced a substantial increase during the World Cup, especially in this month.

According to data from travel website ixigo, airfares from domestic destinations to Ahmedabad on November 19 increased compared to fares from 15 to 45 days ago, Busi­ness Standard reported last week.

On the Delhi-Ahmedabad route, airfares rose by 44 per cent, from Rs 9,756 to Rs 14,036 in this period.

Similarly, airfares increased by around 47 per cent, from Rs 5,515 to Rs 8,099, on the Mumbai-Ahmeda­bad route, according to ixigo.

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