Plan to link Varanasi to 50 airports across India

Sushant Ranjan
Monday, 9 September 2019

“These destinations will be connected under UDAN scheme. AAI is conducting a meeting with private airlines and by next year, there will be more connections,” said the official.

Pune: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) is planning to connect major airports to Varanasi in the coming days. The roadmap has been drawn and the authority is conducting a meeting with the private airlines. Some airports have direct flights to Varanasi airport. AAI plans to increase connectivity to one of India’s major religious hubs. The Pune airport officials are in talks with a private airline to start a direct flight to Varanasi.

As per a report,  air connectivity to UP has increased threefold in last two years, with 53 connections to domestic destinations from six functional airports in the state, against just 17 connections two years back. More than 15 domestic and eight international flights are now connected with Varanasi, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency. The authority is planning to connect the city with more than 50 operational airports.

According to a highly placed official of AAI, “At present, the flight connectivity with Varanasi airport is good. We are looking for more destinations to connect with it. The city is already connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Gaya and Goa and eight international flights are also there. Bhopal, Pune, Indore, Vizag, Nagpur and others are not connected directly, but we are planning to connect them soon.”

“These destinations will be connected under UDAN scheme. AAI is conducting a meeting with private airlines and by next year, there will be more connections,” said the official.

The official said that if a passenger wants to go to Varanasi, he or she has to book a flight via Mumbai or Delhi and have to wait at the airport for three-four hours. “If we want to connect Varanasi to Pune, there are two-three options like flight connection via Indore, Bhopal or Nagpur,” said the officer. 

An airline official told Sakal Times that they are under pressure to start the flight within six months. “We already have seven connection with Varanasi. But the authorities are putting pressure on us to start more flights and connect it with other airports,” said the officer on condition of anonymity.

Due to increasing passenger traffic and aircraft movements, AAI decided to extend the runway. The airport is also in the race to become India’s first airport with a facial recognition system under the government’s DigiYatra Scheme.

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