"There is a lot of scope. Nowadays, a large number of international tourists want to cover an entire circuit in a span of a few days. They come to Kolkata and want to cover Darjeeling, the Andamans and other locations in one go. We can sell the Andamans provided infrastructure in the islands improves. So far as domestic tourists are concerned, this is a price sensitive market. People wouldn't want to travel to the Andamans if air fares are the same or even higher than to Phuket. After all, infrastructure in Phuket is far better than in the Andamans. Air fares need to be brought down but airlines complain that the route is not viable due to insufficient passengers," said Anil Panjabi, honorary chairman, eastern India, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI).
The Veer Savarkar International Airport at Port Blair will soon get night landing facilities. The Indian Air Force's base at Car Nicobar has also granted permission to use its runway as an alternative one in case civil aircraft can't land at Port Blair. Now, efforts are also being made to operate a Port Blair - Phuket service for international tourists.
"A study is on to introduce a Port Blair - Phuket service. This will allow international tourists to travel to the Andamans directly without stopping over in the mainland. We also have plans to park aircraft at Port Blair in the night so they can take off early in the mornings for international destinations. Tourists prefer morning flights as it allows them have the whole day to themselves after they reach their destinations. We want to develop the islands into a tourist attraction like any other location in South East Asia. The process has already started. The new terminal building of the Veer Savarkar International Airport is being developed at a cost of Rs 413 crore," said Bishnu Pada Ray, MP, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Click Here For More Details.