Saturday, May 14, 2022

RCS-UDAN: Scindia flags off first flight connecting Delhi-Khajuraho

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New Delhi: First direct flight between Delhi and the heritage city of Khajuraho has been flagged off on Friday. With this, 405 routes have been operationalised under the RCS-UDAN scheme. SpiceJet was awarded the Delhi-Khajuraho-Delhi route under the RCS-UDAN 3.0. The inaugural event was attended by Union Minister of Civil Aviation (MOCA) Jyotiraditya M Scindia, MoCA’s Joint Secretary Usha Padhee, SpiceJet’s Chairman & Managing Director (CMD) Ajay Singh, Member of Parliament of Khajuraho Vishnu Datt Sharma and many other dignitaries.

The airline will be operating flights on two days of the week, Friday and Sunday, and will deploy its Q400, 78-seater turboprop aircraft, designed for short-distance flights, on the route. SpiceJet is India’s largest regional carrier. The airline operates 65 daily flights under UDAN connecting 14 UDAN destinations to various parts of the country. At present SpiceJet services Gwalior and Jabalpur airports in Madhya Pradesh. With Khajuraho, it will be their 15th UDAN destination.

Speaking on the occasion, Scindia said, “Khajuraho is world’s pride, and it is the gateway for Madhya Pradesh’s cultural and artistic prowess and religious diversity, and it has a significant importance in Madhya Pradesh’s past, present and future.”

The minister further said, “Apart from Khajuraho, we have four airports in Madhya Pradesh with Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur. In the past seven months, Madhya Pradesh has seen 40 percent increase in flights per week, amounting to 759 flights per week as of February 18, 2022. Apart from that, two new Flight Training Organisations (FTO) will come up in Khajuraho which will help in training our commercial pilots. We have set our aim to construct 100 airports and 1,000 new air routes by 2024-25. Till now, 65 airports have been constructed, and 403 air routes are operationalised. Air Passengers also saw an increase from 6 crore in 2012-13 to 14.5 crore in 2021-22. We are fully committed to Hon’ble Prime Minister Vision of UDAN – Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik.”

Khajuraho airport was established in the year 1978 with flight services to Delhi, Agra and Varanasi. MoCA has invested Rs 50 crore in Khajuraho airport and advance facilities were incorporated in the airport with the installation of the instrument landing system, a 1,20,000-sq-ft new terminal building, night landing facility, recarpeting of the runway and new ATC towers. The flight begins a couple of days before the start of the Khajuraho dance festival.

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