PUDUCHERRY: After a gap of two years, Puducherry is back on India’s aviation map with the commencement of daily to and fro flight operation on Puducherry-Hyderabad route from today. Spice Jet is operating the Hyderabad-Puducherry flights, under UDAN (Ude Desh ki Aam Naagarik) scheme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
The maiden flight from Hyderabad on arrival in Puducherry Airport was greeted with grand water cannon salute in line with aviation tradition. The passengers were welcome by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy along with ministers A Namassivayam, M Kandasamy, Deputy Speaker V P Sivakozhundu with garland and presented with mementoes in presence of Chief Secretary Manoj Parida, Tourism Secretary P Parthiban, DGP S K Gautam, Airport Authority of India and Spice Jet officials.
Later the flight from Puducherry was flagged off by Chief Minister V Narayanasamy along with ministers A Namassivayam, M Kandasamy, after issuing boarding passes to them while Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao flew to Hyderabad on the inaugural flight.
Spice jet is operating a Q-300 Bombardier aircraft with a seating capacity of 78 and flying time of 1 hour 20 minutes. The initial response has been good with 73 passengers arriving in Puducherry and 77 flying from Puducherry to Hyderabad today. For the next six days, 60 to 70 percent of the seats have been booked on this route, said Sumant Rautelaa, Head of Airport and Ground services, Spice Jet. The flight is being operated on Vijayawada-Hyderabad-Puducherry and Puducherry-Hyderabad-Vijayawada routes, he said. The flight fare is around Rs 2500 for the first 50 percent of the total seats. The craft is getting refueled in the Airport, a facility that has been provided through a bowser of Indian Oil Corporation . With this new flight, Puducherry will be connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Ahemdabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh with onward connections, said a release from Spice Jet.
Chief minister said that the commencement of the flight operations will boost the development of Puducherry. Not only it will be convenient for the Tourists, but also the trade and industry.
The government has initiated the process for more flight operations connecting Puducherry with Bengaluru, Tirupathi, Coimbatore, Salem, Trichy and Chennai, said the Chief minister.
He said that due to good law and order situation, there has been a surge in tourist inflow to Puducherry particularly from Karnataka, Kerala, Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh . Moreover 20 percent of the tourists visiting Puducherry and international tourists, he said.