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Indigo to begin services from Chikalthana airport

With a couple of airlines already operating flights from Chikalthana airport, Indigo airlines to have assured the Aurangabad airport authorities to start its services to Mumbai and Delhi from April. Union minister of state for skill development and entrepreneurship Rajeev Pratap Rudy, who had a brief stopover at Chikalthana airport on his way to Jalgaon on Wednesday, confirmed the news after speaking with the authorities of Indigo Airlines.

On his way to Jalgaon from Mumbai, Rudy had a technical halt at Aurangabad airport for about 30 minutes during which the airport officials briefed him about the requirement of starting new flights in the backdrop of growing demands. "We told him that Indigo Airlines had expressed its willingness to start flight services from Aurangabad but the matter needed to be expedited," said Alok Varshneya, director of Aurangabad airport.

"The minister immediately called up Rahul Bhatia, managing director of Indigo Airlines, and urged him to start flights services on Aurangabad-Mumbai and Aurangabad-Delhi route soon. Bhatia told Rudy the delay was because of problems in aircraft delivery. He expects to get two airplanes in March after which flight services would commence from Aurangabad in April," Varshneya said.

He said the airport authorities have been following up with various airlines and persuading them to start flight services to other cities from Aurangabad. "Aurangabad is a city of opportunities with massive industrialization and world-famous heritage structures. The city is also known for its tourist sites such as Ajanta & Ellora caves, Daulatabad fort and Kailash temple among others. A new five-star industrial park at Shendra-Bidkin under the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project is being developed here. Besides, the country's first-of-its-kind dry port on Aurangabad-Jalna Road is also being established," he explained.

"Considering all these factors and Aurangabad's selection for the Smart City project, it extremely important to start additional flight services not only to other cities in the country but also to destinations abroad," Varshneya said.
"Various features of the airport include night parking and refueling facility. Moreover, the airport also has huge space for the construction of hangers for aircraft, various airline offices, and ticketing counters," he said. "The airport has witnessed an increase in the passenger movement from 2,67537 in 2011 to 4,61138 in 2015," he added.

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