More than two years after the completion of a new $17 million terminal building, the airport in Jaisalmer, a small and remote desert city in India’s western Rajasthan state, stands empty.
Not a single passenger has passed through the gates of an airport big enough to handle more than 300,000 travellers a year, with parking bays for three 180-seater narrow-body jets.
Airlines are not so sure.
SpiceJet's Kapoor said demand was linked to Jaisalmer's cooler winter months, making it tough to lure enough passengers. Officials at GoAir and IndiGo said they had no plans to start flights.
Analysts said the government would need to cut landing charges or provide funding to entice carriers.
"If that too doesn't work, it's better to lock up the airport and redeploy staff," said Amber Dubey, an aviation expert at KPMG.