While domestic air connectivity from Indore saw further improvement with the launch of direct flight to Goa and some additional flights to Chennai and Ahmedabad, international fliers continue to skirt away from launching flights from the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport.
Nine months after Air Arabia and Emirates Airlines evinced interest to launch international flights from Indore little progress has been seen on ground.
In September 2014, the two international fliers had sought permission from the union civil aviation ministry to launch overseas flights from the business capital of the state.
“The airlines had assured the state government that they would launch international flights from Indore once they got permission from (the) union government. However, we are yet to hear from the airlines,” a state government official said.
Emirates Airlines had also conducted a survey at the Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport for the proposed Indore-Dubai flight, however, it is yet to share the results with the authorities.
“The team had 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 had also provided the carrier statistics related to the export of medicines from the region to foreign destinations following which the airline showed interest to link the international flight with cargo service, the official said.
Air Arabia too had showed interest in launching direct flights between Indore and Sharjah. The carrier was hopeful of its success as the return fare the for the Nagpur-Sharjah flight would be around Rs18,000, which was much less than that of the Mumbai-Sharjah direct flight.
The airline had expressed interest in launching similar low-cost flights from Indore.
The lack of interest from international fliers comes at a time when the Indore airport management has taken several 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,” airport director Manoj Chansoria said.
The direct international flights were expected to give a push to export of flowers, fruits and other agriculture products to Gulf countries.