The global aviation journey of Madhya Pradesh started from Monday when the first international flight from Indore’s Devi Ahilybai Holkar International Airport took off to Dubai.
Air India flight AI903 took wings from the airport with 159 passengers onboard. It flewI from Indore at 4.5 pm and landed in Dubai at 8 pm. There was a traditional inaugural function, where the passengers were given farewell in Malwi tradition and bouquets. In the maiden flight, all 12 business classes were occupied.
The BJP MP from Indore Shankar Lalwani flagged off the first service in the presence of Air India Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Ashwani Lohani. Former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, mayor Malini Gaud, MLA Sanjay Shukla along with officials from district administration were also present at the event.
Air India flights to Dubai from Indore airport will operate thrice a week, on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. The return flights from Dubai to Indore will be available on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Speaking to PTI, Air India CMD Lohani said, “Air India launched the first international flight from Indore to Dubai. The non-stop flight will fulfil a long-standing desire from the travel fraternity and tourists for direct connectivity to the Gulf.”
“The international flights from Indore will boost the tourism sector of the entire Madhya Pradesh,” he added.
Air India is operating its 162-seater A320 Neo aircraft on the route. There are 150 economy and 12 business class seats on the plane.
Once the service picks up and shows a good response, authorities plan to make Indore-Dubai flight a daily service. Lohani said that there are no plans for introducing more international trips in the pipeline. However, he said that there is a demand for flights to Bangkok.