Located in northwestern India, Jaisalmer Airport was completed more than two years ago at a cost of $US17 million. At a time when the spanking new facility should be welcoming hundreds of thousands of passengers per year, it sits abandoned. In fact, the airport has yet to operate a single day.
According to Reuters, Jaisalmer is one of more than 200 no-frills airports planned by India’s previous government. They were meant to encourage travel and commerce in far-flung parts of the Indian sub-continent.
However, in many cases, local political greed won out over reason and airports were placed in locations where there simply isn’t enough demand for air travel to warrant a full-scale airport.
In fact, Jaisalmer is one of eight airports the Indian Government has constructed over the past decade at a cost of more than $US50 million to have never entered service, Reuters reports.
Why aren’t airports such Jaisalmer in business? According to Reuters, one reason is because airlines can’t open routes to these small under-developed areas. The domestic Indian market is incredibly competitive and for a route to have any chance of profitability, it has to either fly to or from one of the country’s mega cities.
This means that in order for an airline to open a route to Jaisalmer, it has to originate in a major hub such as Delhi or Mumbai. However, airports in these cities are incredibly congested and the precious space there is at these facilities are prioritised for more profitable destinations. As a result, the less populated locales remain perpetually underserved.
Here’s closer look at India’s brand new ghost airport.
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