Come January, low-cost carrier IndiGo will start a direct flight between Pune and Prayagraj (earlier Allahabad) under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), Airports Authority of India (AAI) officials said.
The direct service will start before mid-January when the religious gathering of Ardh Kumbh commences in Prayagraj. The Ardh Kumbh will start on January 15 and end on March 4.
Officials said that the direct flight will benefit thousands of devotees from Pune and surrounding areas, who wish to travel to the holy city during the Kumbh. “Under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, a new IndiGo flight to Prayagraj from the Lohegaon airport is likely to commence soon. While the date has not been confirmed yet, AAI, Pune, has been informed that IndiGo flight operations to Prayagraj will be commencing soon,” Ajay Kumar, Director, Pune airport, said.
The Allahabad airport has undergone upgradation recently at a cost of over Rs 160 crore. The AAI plans to connect the Prayagraj airport with 12 other cities apart from Pune, such as Hyderabad, Nagpur, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Bhubaneswar, Chennai, Dehradun, Indore, Kolkata, Raipur and Patna in the next 15 months.
Aviation expert Dhairyashil Vandekar said: “It is understood that the route between Pune and Prayagraj has already been allotted to IndiGo… The RCS flight will indeed come as a boon for the hundreds of devotees and pilgrims in Western Maharashtra who travel to this important religious centre every year.”