Not just Star Air India, but a second regional airline Flybig has started flights from Indore connecting Madhya Pradesh to other nearby states, which is bound to encourage more intra-state tourism this year.
The cleanest city of India now has another feather in its cap. It is slowly emerging as a regional airline hub. Hemendra Singh Jadon, Chapter Chairman, MP & CG, TAAI, says that while Indore is growing as an economic and business hub, it is also attracting attention of regional airlines. “Regional airline Flybig starting their flights from Indore is good news for travel agents in these states. They have chosen a Tier-II city as their hub, making Indore the first such city to become an airline hub. Though it is not a fuller-service airline, it is giving service equivalent to one. The seating is comfortable, the aircraft is new, and they also serve snacks,” he says.
The airline has started flying Indore-Ahmedabad-Indore. Jadon adds, “There is huge demand from MP to visit the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, Gir and other tourist destinations in Gujarat. We are getting a lot of inquiries for Gujarat and we think this new flight will further fuel this demand. Soon they will be doing Bhopal, Raipur and Jabalpur from Indore. They also have Gondhia which is a small airport in Maharashtra as part of the UDAN scheme. They have plans to connect Madhya Pradesh with other states which is very good news for agents. We have also suggested many sectors to them. We have already started getting a lot of domestic inquiries and foresee a lot of demand for these sectors from leisure as well as business travellers.”
His chapter had also invited regional airline Star Air India to do a presentation for its members. They are also flying Indore-Belagavi and Indore-Kishangarh, and these flights, says Jadon, are doing very well.
Physical events and FAMs
Jadon is happy that familiarisation tours for his members have already started. “We took our members to Omkareshwar recently, organised by Madhya Pradesh Tourism. We have also been invited to be part of the two-day agent familiarisation trip to Jal Mahotsav, India’s biggest water carnival taking place on Hanuwantiya Island in Madhya Pradesh. We have even started doing physical meetings and events for our chapter while taking all necessary safety precautions. Only when we start venturing out will we be able to motivate our clients to travel,” he says. The chapter has also organised an event on January 23, 2021 where it has invited the state’s Tourism Minister Usha Thakur where she will address members and interact with them.
Flybig gets bigger
Flybig recently started operations from Indore to other cities keeping Indore as its base. The first flight took off from Indore at 2.30pm to Ahmedabad. It is scheduled to complete the journey in an hour and five minutes. In the first couple of weeks, it will operate thrice a week, and it will later be scaled up to five flights a week, from mid-February. From January 13, Flybig adds the Indore-Raipur route to its network. From February 1, the airline will begin flying from Ahmedabad to Bhopal.