INDIA. Mumbai: Eight new air routes bolstering the aerial connectivity from Madhya Pradesh to Maharashtra and Gujarat were flagged off by Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, on Friday.
At the virtual flag-off ceremony, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Jabalpur MP Rakesh Singh, Union Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola and other senior officials were present during the flag off.
Madhya Pradesh Energy Minister Pradhuman Singh Tomar, Madhya Pradesh Water Resources Minister Tulsi Silawat, Ahmedabad MP Dr.Kirit Solanki and Gwalior MP Vivek Narayan Shejwalkar also joined the flag-off event virtually.
In his remarks, Scindia said that “I would like to congratulate the people of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat on the commencement of the new flight operations. Besides, additional flights between the Delhi-Jabalpur route will also commence from July 18 onwards, and Khajuraho-Delhi-Khajuraho flights from October 2021 onwards. We are committed to bolster regional air connectivity and take the Prime Minister’s vision of “Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik” (UDAN) to greater heights!”
The airlines M/S SpiceJet will commence operations on the following new routes: Gwalior-Mumbai-Gwalior, Gwalior-Pune-Gwalior, Jabalpur-Surat-Jabalpur, and Ahmedabad-Gwalior-Ahmedabad route.
Gwalior is one of the first airports of Madhya Pradesh to be connected with the UDAN route and further enhancements in the air traffic led to the advent of additional regional routes. It is now well connected with Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Jammu as UDAN routes and Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad as non-UDAN routes. The new routes will boost the aerial connectivity of Gwalior, the tourism city of Madhya Pradesh with the trade hubs of India, Maharashtra, and Gujarat and will improve economic activity.
The commencement of these routes fulfills the objectives of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to enhance the regional connectivity of the Tier-II and Tier-III cities with the metro cities of the country. With the flag-off, Jabalpur airport (Madhya Pradesh) is now connected with Bangalore, Hyderabad, and Pune as non-UDAN routes and with Bilaspur as UDAN routes.
Gwalior is famous for its historical buildings like- Gwalior Fort, SaasBahu Temple, Tomb of Mohammad Ghaus, PhoolBagh, Gujari Mahal Museum, TeliKaMandir, Gwalior Zoo, Moti Mahal, and Jai Vilas Palace. Jabalpur is the administrative and educational centre of Madhya Pradesh. Home to Dhuandhar Falls, Madan Mahal Fort, Balancing Rock, Bargi Dam, Gurudwara Gwarighat Sahib, and Dumna Nature Reserve Park, the city is also a major tourist hub.
Inauguration of these routes achieves the aim of the “Sab Uden Sab Juden” (all to fly, all to connect) initiative under the UDAN scheme to strengthen the established aerial network of the country while providing a catalyst to the local economy and tourism.
Earlier this month, under the UDAN scheme, M/S Indigo airlines started another flight to connect Kolkata, West Bengal, and Imphal, Manipur with Dibrugarh, Assam. To date, 359 routes and 59 airports including 5 heliports and 2 Water Aerodromes have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme.
UDAN 4.1 round is aimed at connecting smaller airports, along with special helicopters and seaplane routes. Some routes have been suggested under the Sagarmala Seaplane Services in consultation with the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
As of now the total number of routes under Udan has reached up to 766. They include the routes to the northeast states, hilly areas, and islands of India. A total of 78 additional routes were approved under the fourth round of regional connectivity scheme- UDAN in August last year.
The number of domestic passengers is on the rise as flying emerges as a preferred, safe, and time-saving mode of transport. As of July 15, a total of 1,56,450 passengers travelled on 1,450 flights. Total flight movement was 2,915 and total passenger movement was 3,12,892, an official statement said.