Air India plans to expand its operations from Indore in coming months with launch of new flights to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Bhopal. The airline also plans to launch international flights from Indore for Bangkok and Dubai later this year, sources said.
The matter came up for discussion during the recent visit of Air India chairman-cum-managing director (CMD), Ashwani Lohani, during his interaction with travel agents. The CMD took feedback from the travel agents on the demand for domestic and international destinations. Air India could launch flights for Dubai and Bangkok with a halt in either New Delhi or Mumbai, sources said.
Air India, which will soon get new aircrafts including ATRs and Boeings, is contemplating new operations on different routes including Indore-Kolkata via Ahmedabad and Kolkata-Indore via Raipur. While, other private airlines fly to Bhopal and Ahmedabad from Indore, there is no direct Indore-Jaipur flight.
While Indore airport has got international status, there are no international flights from the city. Nearly 18 months after Air Arabia and Emirates Airlines announced plans to launch international flights from Indore, there is little progress on the ground.
In September 2014, Air Arabia and Emirates Airlines had applied to union civil aviation ministry for permission to launch international flights from Indore.
Last year, Emirates Airlines had conducted a survey at Indore airport to access passenger demand for Indore-Dubai route. The government has also provided statistics related to the export of medicines from the region to the foreign destinations following which Emirates showed interest to link the international flight with cargo service.
The Indore airport management has taken steps to launch international flights. “Indore airport has the infrastructure to launch international flights, and we are ready to take additional measures as required but ultimately it is up to the airlines to launch the flights,” Indore airport director Manoj Chansoria said.