International flights still a distant dream for Indore residents

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Dec 22, 2014 16:27 IST

Three months after Air Arabia and Emirates Airlines announced plans to launch international flights from Indore, there has been little progress on the ground.

In September this year, Air Arabia and Emirates Airlines had applied to Union civil aviation ministry for permission to launch international flights from Indore.

"Both the airlines had assured the state government that they will launch international flights from Indore as soon as they get permission from Government of India. However, there has been no concrete development in this regard," a state government official told HT.

While Emirates Airlines has conducted a survey at Indore airport for proposed launch of Indore-Dubai flight, the airline is yet to share the results with the authorities.

"The team has taken stock of the infrastructure at the airport. The survey included estimated passenger traffic from Indore and nearby areas for a direct Indore-Dubai flight," an airport official said.

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.

Air Arabia is interested in launching direct flights between Indore and Sharjah. The return fare for Nagpur-Sharjah flight is about Rs 18,000, which is less than that of Mumbai-Sharjah. The airline is hopeful of launching similar low-cost flights from Indore.

The Indore airport management has also taken steps to launch international flights. "Indore airport has the infrastructure to launch international flights, and the airport management has sent a proposal for starting an excise and customs clearance counter to the director general of civil aviation (DGCA)," the official said.

Travel agents say while there is demand for Indore-Dubai and Indore-Thailand flights, the daily traffic will not be high enough to make the operations viable unless the flights go via Mumbai or another big city.

The proposed flight will help in the export of flowers, fruits and other agriculture products to the Gulf countries, which would benefit the farmers of the region.

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