Air taxi operations connecting eight cities within Madhya Pradesh and the state to three cities in neighbouring states will commence from September 27 — World Tourism Day — said tourism officials.
Supreme Aviation has bagged the contract for air taxi operations in the state for three years, extendable to five years, after the previous contract-holder Air Ventura’s term expired last year.
Supreme Aviation president and CEO Ameet K Agarwal told HT that two nine-seater Cessna aircrafts will operate between eight cities in MP and three cities outside MP.
“Both the aircrafts will be based at Indore. The eight cities within MP that will get air-connectivity include Bhopal, Indore, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Satna, Kanha, Bhandhavgarh and Gwalior. The inter-state operations will connect MP with three other cities that include Nagpur, Agra and Ahmedabad,” he said.
“All the required clearances have been sought and we are ready to start services from the world tourism day,” said Agarwal, who met the Madhya Pradesh state tourism development corporation (MPSTDC) managing director Ashwani Lohani on Wednesday.
Agarwal said that the meeting went well and they discussed various issues related to commencing air taxi operations in the state. “MP tourism commissioner Ashwani Lohani has been very cooperative and wants to increase air connectivity in the state to boost tourism,” he said.
Supreme Aviation signed a MoU with the MPSTDC earlier this year for three years for air tax operations in the state, said tourism officials.
Commissioner and managing director, MPSTDC, told HT that it was for the first time that eight cities within MP and three cities in the neighbouring cities would have air connectivity.
“The last operator provided air connectivity to four cities and it was not flying any inter-state flights. Now, inter-state and intra-state air taxi operations will help in boosting tourism. We are also hopeful that air connectivity with Agra will increase the flow of foreign tourists to the state,” he said.
Lohani said that they had also made some changes in the contract with the air taxi operator. “This time, we are not underwriting 3 out of the 9 seats on every flight. Instead, we will subsidize part of the per hour flying cost subject to maximum of Rs 1 crore per month,” he said.