The first flight from Surat to Mumbai was flagged off by Congress MP and Union Minister of State for road transport and highways Dr Tushar Chaudhary from Surat Airport on Wednesday morning. Both Congress and BJP leaders remained present at the airport to celebrate the moment.
Surat has become second destination of the SpiceJet in Gujarat after Ahmedabad. The first flight landed in Surat from Delhi at 8.30 am. The southern Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Rohit Mehta and several other business dignitaries of Surat and different business association presidents also remained present.
Around 15 local BJP leaders and around 80 textile businessmen along with others to a total of 159 passengers came to Surat from Delhi in SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft.
Chaudhary flagged off the flight from Surat to Mumbai carrying around 103 passengers. The returning flight from Mumbai to Surat had been fully booked. The flight came at 3.30 pm and departed to Delhi at 4.00 pm.
The Chief Executive Officer of SpiceJet,Neil Mills,said,We have not come under any political pressure or agitation carried out by any political party to start the flight. We are here for commercial purpose and we expect good traffic from Surat to Mumbai.
At present,the company is giving one-month promotional airfares for the passengers and later they will raise the air fares. Currently,the airfare for the journey to and fro Surat and Mumbai is Rs 999 and airfare to and fro Surat and Delhi is Rs 1,499.
Executive Director of SpiceJet S Natrajan said,We have experienced a great zeal today while starting the flight from Surat to Mumbai and it is the matter of pride. We have seen people celebrating after getting the first flight from here. We expect that Surat will continue giving us the air traffic so that we will continue the air services. After going through the air traffic,we will again think to start more flights connecting Surat to other metropolitan cities.
On this occasion,Chaudhary said,The SpiceJet is a private company and they have seen business opportunities following which they have started the flight service. Now,it is our duty to take advantage of such services so that it continues.
Surat BJP MP C R Patil said,We have carried out agitation earlier at Surat airport and it the victory of our attempt and people of Surat who had supported our movement and we succeeded in it. We have even argued with the Union Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi in the Assembly in Delhi to give us air connectivity from Surat to Mumbai.