Thursday, February 25, 2021

Kumaon calls: Bareilly to get direct flights to Mumbai, Bengaluru & Delhi this summer

 New Delhi: The hills of Kumaon will soon get closer than ever before for travellers from Mumbai and Bengaluru. Bareilly — which shot to fame in 1966 with Sadhana’s jhumka — will start getting commercial flights from March 8 with Alliance Air connecting it to Delhi. But this town will not get only regional flights to nearby places. IndiGo will connect it to Bengaluru and Mumbai in the summer schedule that comes into force next month-end, Surendra Singh, senior IAS officer and secretary to UP CM incharge of civil aviation, told TOI.

Bareilly will be among the first Tier III cities in UP to be connected directly to metros, other than nearby Delhi.

“Bareilly is the closest to the Kumaon part of Uttarakhand. Nainital is about a couple of hours away from there. The industry belt of Rudrapur is also very close. The region is inhabited by a significant number of very well to do communities with lot of potential for airlines to do well on this route. Landing in Bareilly saves the 3-4 hours spent in driving from Delhi to that area enroute Kumaon, Haridwar or Rudrapur,” said Singh.

The UP government has spent about Rs 94 crore on land acquisition and other facilities. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) built a new passenger terminal, a civil enclave, at this defence airfield. The airport has a runway big enough to handle Airbus A320 / Boeing 737 type of aircraft.

Sensing the potential, IndiGo is planning to start Mumbai and Bengaluru flights by March-end in the summer schedule. “Once other airlines see how well IndiGo is doing on Bareilly flights, they too will start operations here. We plan to link Bareilly to Varanasi and Prayagraj also,” say government officials.

24/02/21 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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