Darbhanga’s wait for direct flight connectivity to Hyderabad, Pune continues
Much awaited direct flights to Pune and Hyderabad have not been announced yet pending clearance from the Indian Air Force (IAF), said an official aware of the developments.
The promised introduction of new flights from Darbhanga airport to major metros across the country is eagerly awaited by residents amid the disappointment of discontinuation of SpiceJet flights to Ahmedabad.
SpiceJet, the selected airline operator (SAO) for Darbhanga, discontinued its Ahmedabad flight from February 15 citing operational reasons. Meanwhile, the operator has added another daily flight to Delhi from February 15, raising the number of daily flights to the national capital to two.
The airline’s much awaited services from Darbhanga to Pune and Hyderabad had not been announced yet pending clearance from the Indian Air Force (IAF), said an official aware of the developments.
"We have decided to further enhance connectivity to the city with new flights to Pune, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad," Shilpa Bhatia, chief commercial officer, SpiceJet had said while declaring that flights from Darbhanga airport had received a tremendous response.
Another popular airline, IndiGo, is also awaiting IAF clearance to operate flights from Darbhanga airport, said Raja Rehman, IndiGo's assistant manager (project). However, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has provided slots to the airline and IndiGo is ready to announce a launch date as soon as it gets the clearance from authorities, said an airline official.
On Sunday, a total of 1,225 passengers and 30 infants travelled to and from Darbhanga airport on four daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad sectors respectively, according to Darbhanga airport director, Biplab Kumar Mondal.
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Hardeep Singh Puri, minister of state (independent charge), civil aviation, had recently told the parliament that the Darbhanga airport, which became operational under the Centre's Udan scheme, catered to 64,238 passengers in the first two month after the launch of flight service.
Despite the state government allocating funds, an official proposal for the acquisition of 31 acre of land for the construction of a permanent civil enclave at Darbhanga airport, owned by IAF, continues to hang fire.