Vijayawada is set to get four new flights connecting the city to Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad starting from October 1. Air India’s Alliance Air will operate the services from October 1 to 26. According to The Hindu, SpiceJet will also operate two daily flights between Vijayawada and Hyderabad, starting from September 25.
The state government is said to have requested the civil aviation ministry to revise flights from various airports across the state. As a first step, Vijayawada-Vizag flights have been agreed upon, with more meetings to follow from September 17 to 20, where the winter schedule will be discussed.
The SpiceJet flights will be available in the morning and evening, for which bookings have already been opened, Hindu reported. SpiceJet is also set to bring back its Kochi-Tirupati-Vijayawada flight in October.
According to TNIE, all four flights by Alliance Air will also operate daily. The Hyderabad-Vijayawada flight will take off at 6.25 pm and land at 7.30 pm, while the Vijayawada-Hyderabad flight will take off at 10.45 pm and land at 11.45 pm. The Vijayawada-Vizag flight will take off at 7.55 pm and land at 8.55 pm, and the Vizag-Vijayawada flight will take off at 9.20 pm and land at 10.20 pm, TNIE reported.
The central government granted international status to the Vijayawada airport in May 2017. However, only after the state government offered Viability Gap Funding to service providers to encourage more airlines, IndiGo started to operate flights to Singapore in December last year.
However, earlier in July, the service was dropped after the lapse of a six-month agreement with IndiGo, for various reasons, including the poor passenger load factor as well as the burden of Viability Gap Funding.
According to Airports Authority of India data, passenger traffic at the Vijayawada airport has increased tremendously in the past five years, but international traffic had remained low.