First direct flight between Delhi and the heritage city of Khajuraho was flagged-off today with a SpiceJet 78-seater turbo prop aircraft.
The flight begins a couple of days before the start of the Khajuraho dance festival which is a major tourist and cultural attraction.
The inaugural event was graced by Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia and SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh.
With this flight , 405 routes would be operationalized under the UDAN regional connectivity scheme.
SpiceJet was awarded the Delhi-Khajuraho-Delhi route under the UDAN 3.0. The airline will be operating flights on 2 days of the week – Friday and Sunday, and will deploy its Q400, 78-seater turbo prop aircraft designed for shorter distance flights on the route.
SpiceJet now operates 65 daily flights under UDAN connecting 14 UDAN destinations to various parts of the country. At present SpiceJet services Gwalior and Jabalpur airports in Madhya Pradesh. With Khajuraho, it will be their 15th UDAN destination.
Speaking on the occasion, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said, “Khajuraho is the world’s pride, and it is the gateway for Madhya Pradesh’s cultural and art prowess and religious diversity, and it has a significant importance in Madhya Pradesh’s Past, Present and Future.”
The minister said two new FTO (Flight Training Organizations) will also come up in Khajuraho which will help in training our commercial pilots.
Khajuraho airport was established in 1978 with flight services to Delhi, Agra, Varanasi. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has invested Rs 50 crore in Khajuraho airport and advanced facilities were incorporated in the airport with installation of instrument landing system, a 1,20,000 sq ft new terminal building, night landing facility, re-carpeting of runway and new ATC towers.
The minister further emphasized “Apart from Khajuraho, we have 4 airports in Madhya Pradesh with Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur. In the past 7 months, Madhya Pradesh has seen a 40% increase in flights per week, amounting to 759 flights per week as on 18 February 2022.