Budget carrier IndiGo started operating on Gaya-Kolkata and Gaya-Varansi routes from Thursday.
The airlines has also sought permission from the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to operate a Gaya-Delhi flight. The proposed flight has been tentatively scheduled to operate from October. However, the timing of the proposed flight is yet to be finalised.
The inaugural flight of IndiGo-6E-7713, an ATR-72 aircraft, with a seating capacity of 76 passengers carrying IndiGo vice president Vijay Mata and Gaya airport director Dilip Kumar along with passengers from Kolkata landed at the Gaya airport runway at about 8.30 am. The inaugural flight was welcomed by Magadh divisional commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal, Magadh range DIG Vinay Kumar, district magistrate Abhishek Singh and other officials.
Gaya airport director Dilip Kumar said, “IndiGo has been given permission to operate two flights for Kolkata and one for Varanasi. The second flight from Kolkata will take Kolkata-Gaya-Varanasi and Varanasi-Gaya-Kolkata route. The 424km aerial distance between Gaya and Kolkata would be covered in 80 minutes, only a few minutes less than the 103 minute flying time between Gaya and Delhi. The aerial distance between Gaya and Delhi is nearly double of Gaya-Kolkata distance.
Asked why the flight will take more time, the Gaya airport director said ATR-72 is a smaller plane and it flies at a lesser speed compared to Airbus-320 and other bigger aircraft. “The maximum flying speed of ATR-72 aircraft is 448 km per hour,” said the airport director.
Asked about the IndigGo proposal to operate one flight on the Gaya-Delhi route, Dilip said the proposal was under consideration.
IndiGo has been provided space for office, back- up office, ramp, engineering and ground handling at the Gaya airport. Ground handling would be done by an IndiGo subsidiary.
Source: Times of India