Frequent flyers to Bhopal and Jabalpur have a reason to cheer. After a four-month delay, the intra-state air taxi service connecting Indore to Bhopal, Jabalpur, and tourist hotspots Khajuraho and Sirdi will finally take off on January 16.
The operator, Supreme Transport Aviation, which had been waiting for clearance from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has finally got the green signal from the government agency. The operations will initially commence on Indore-Bhopal, Indore-Jabalpur, Indore-Khajuraho and Indore-Shridi, a very popular pilgrim destination, a senior company official said.
“We have received all the DGCA permissions and plan to launch operations from January 16. The only thing remaining is certificate of air worthiness (CoAW) for the aircrafts, which is received after ‘proving flight’. It is a one-day process,” Supreme Transport Aviation Ltd’s senior state manager Milind Mahajan told HT.
Last month, the company had received a jolt after MP Tourism Development Corporation cancelled its contract to provide subsidy to its flights. The contract was cancelled following inordinate delay in getting the DGCA approval.
Intra-state air taxi services from Indore by another private operator were suspended in September 2014 as the operations had turned financially unviable.
Initially, Supreme Aviation, in collaboration with MP Tourism Development Corporation, had planned to connect 12 cities, including popular tourist destinations of Kanha, Bhandhavgarh and Gwalior with Indore and Bhopal.
The company had also planned inter-state operations on Nagpur, Agra and Ahmedabad routes. “For now, we will be focusing only on the profitable routes, as our contract with MP Tourism Development Corporation is no longer applicable. The fare will be about Rs 6,500 per flying hour, so Indore to Bhopal one-way fare would be around Rs 3,250, while Indore to Khajuraho fare would be Rs 6,500,” he said.
Earlier, the state government had planned to give subsidy on part of the per-hour flying cost, subject to a maximum of Rs 1 crore per month.