IXG the code by which Sambra, Belgaum is known to the world in the aviation industry now has been non operational for commercial use from November 20, 2011.
After the chaos at Kingfisher airlines it first made clarifications, “ All ATR aircraft will continue to operate in a single configuration as a Kingfisher Class full service product.All advance reservations made by guests in the Kingfisher Red class of service will be fully honoured as the reconfiguration will take about 4 months to complete. Judging from actual past performance, higher yields and load factors and increase in overall revenue are expected.”
Eventually all flights were stopped from 21 November, 2011 and the airlines had then said that due to reconfiguration of seats some planes have been grounded and hence flights to a few places have been canceled. But this was not to be and WE had categorically stated then that flights might not resume in the near future.
One of the oldest airports in the country which was commissioned by the The Royal Air Force in 1942 and then the Patwardhan Sarkar had allotted the land. Indian Airlines had regular service from here but in late 1980′s it got dis continued and in 1989 private players like Vayudoot started operations with the Belgaum – Mumbai and Belgaum- Bangalore services.
1993-95 East west airlines flew from here and in 1994 NEPC also started operations. In 1997-98 Span Airways had its operations from here. In 1998 Gujrat airways commenced its operations on Bangalore Belgaum Pune route. In 1999 air services from Sambra stopped completely. 1999 till 2003 the airport was being utlised by politicians and the Air force for training with no commercial flights.The Belgaum airport was recently renovated at a cost of Rs.3.57crores which now boasts of a fully AC terminal building. Mr. Praful Patel had said that by January 2010 air services would resume from Belgaum.
In 2003 Air Deccan the low cost airline started its operations and Belgaum was back on the radar. Service was commenced on 29 September 2003 with the Mumbai – Bangalore service via Belgaum. Later due to lack of traffic only Belgaum – Bangalore service was in operation.
The QUEST sez which specializes in aerospace is just 45 kms from the city which makes parts for the Boiengs and Airbus and also companies like Servocontrols are into aero space but as there are no flights these companies face a lot of difficulties getting their clients here.
A similar case is with the foundry industry which serves the Auto industry but due to non availability of flights they say their growth is hampered. The Belgaum Chamber of Commerce had tried to commence air operations from here, but again Belgaum has to face the same fate.
On the other hand one should think why will an airline close its profitable routes, so as they have closed this route it was not profitable and in business, one can make more money by stopping operations on these routes rather than running them and incurring losses.
Spicejet had announced of connecting to 60 smaller towns in February 2011 but nothing concrete has happened in this regard.
May what the reason is; no more take offs from Belgaum airport. May be it will be converted into a museum or even a record of sorts a full fledged airport with no take offs.