The first direct flight between Delhi and the heritage city of Khajuraho was flagged-off today. With this, 405 routes would be operationalised under the UDAN-RCS scheme. SpiceJet was awarded the Delhi-Khajuraho-Delhi route under the RCS-UDAN 3.0.
The inaugural event was graced by Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Ms. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA, Shri Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, Shri Vishnu Datt Sharma, Member of Parliament, Khajuraho, Shri Om Prakash Sakhlecha, Minister of Science & Technology and MSME, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Kunwar Pradyumna Singh Lodhi, Member of Legislative Assembly, Malhara and many other dignitaries.
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 is India’s largest regional carrier and the strongest supporter of UDAN scheme. The airline 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, Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said, “Khajuraho is 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 further emphasised “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 40% increase in flights per week, amounting to 759 flights per week as on 18 February 2022. Apart from that, 2 new FTO (Flight Training Organisations) will come up in Khajuraho which will help in training our commercial pilots. We have set our aim to construct 100 airports and 1,000 new air routes by 2024-25.Till now, 65 airports have been constructed, and 403 air routes are operationalised. Air Passengers also saw an increase from 6 crore in 2012-13 to 14.5 crore in 2021-22. We are fully committed to Hon’ble Prime Minister Vision of UDAN - Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik.”
Khajuraho airport was established in the year 1978 with flight services to Delhi, Agra, Varanasi. MoCA has invested Rs 50 crore in Khajuraho airport and advance 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 the runway and new ATC towers. The flight begins a couple of days before the start of the Khajuraho dance festival.
With the new direct flight, passengers from Delhi can visit Khajuraho and enjoy the historical as well as cultural heritage of the city. For passenger from Khajuraho, they will now be able to easily travel to a host of cities. It is identified as one of the iconic destinations for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference/ Conventions and Exhibitions/ Events) by the Ministry of Tourism.
The Flight schedule is as below: