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Going places: Trial flight from Shirdi to Mumbai to take off next week

Officials aim to inaugurate the airport by the first 15 days of October

mumbai Updated: Sep 24, 2017 00:29 IST
Neha LM Tripathi
Neha LM Tripathi
Hindustan Times
Shirdi airport,DGCA,AAI
The temple town sees as many as 1 lakh devotees on auspicious days.(HT)

The trial flight from Shirdi airport is set to take off by Wednesday. Alliance Air will monitor the flight — which will have Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials on board — to Mumbai and back.

“We are yet to confirm the date. However, the flight will either take off on Tuesday or Wednesday,” said Suresh Kakani, chairman and managing director of Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC), which owns the airport.

After the DGCA — the country’s aviation regulator — issued the airport an aerodrome licence on Thursday, travel portals said they witnessed an increase in inquiries for bookings. Ezeego1 said more than a 100 travellers contacted them for booking-related details. Cox & Kings reported 60 inquiries.

“Connecting this important town to India’s major cities will have a positive impact on the local and state economy. We witnessed a rise in inquiries for this tour as many want to fly to this historic place,” said Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox & Kings.

Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C), said the airport would not only reduce travel time, but also cater to those who have limited time to plan trips. “We witnessed a slight uptake in the number of inquiries. We expect a significant increase in bookings once the airport is operational,” said Dhall.

Officials aim to inaugurate the airport by the first 15 days of October. Alliance Air, TrueJet and Zoom Air will operate from the airport, which will also connect to Delhi and Hyderabad.

First Published: Sep 24, 2017 00:28 IST