Tirupati, Aug 11: The Tirupati International Airport is operational since the last 10 months, but only for domestic flights. The Airports Authority of India had completed all the pre-requisite protocols for example, establishing immigration and customs offices, the foreign registration regional office and appointing a deputy superintendent of police.
However, it has been disclosed that Airlines are sceptical about business here since it may not garner too many passengers.
Despite Union minister for civil aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju's assurances about international flights here, the new terminal is only being used for domestic flights. An officer, who did not want to be identified said, "We have to first convince the airlines about international flights being viable. Our own Air India is ready to start international operations from here to Dubai, the Middle East and USA, with flights being via Hyderabad. Passengers can clear immigration here, disembark at Hyderabad and get on to another flight to their destination. We hope international flights will commence from October end from Tirupati airport."
PM Narendra Modi had inaugurated the new international terminal building at the airport on Oct 22, 2015. It was assured then that International flights will begin in 3 months.
Meanwhile, sources say that domestic air traffic has increased significantly, implying the airport's business potential in the future.