MONTHS AFTER its inauguration was pushed back, the first flight from Mumbai to Nanded took off Thursday. The two cities, only an hour away from each other by air, would witness daily flight services. The TruJet’s inaugural flight to Nanded from Mumbai airport took off at 10.30 am. As per the airline’s schedule, the same aircraft will operate a flight to Hyderabad from Nanded. The return flight, slated on the same day, would connect flyers from Hyderabad to Mumbai via Nanded.
After Kandla and Porbunder, to where there are SpiceJet flights from the city, Nanded is the third airport to be connected with Mumbai under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
The fare between Mumbai and Nanded has been pegged at Rs 2,500. “Flights would operate daily between the airports. The Mumbai-Nanded route was supposed to be inaugurated in May this year when we launched the Nanded-Hyderabad route. However, due to certain technical issues, it was delayed,” said a TruJet official.
Flight operations between Nanded and Hyderabad were also suspended in the monsoon due to issues on the runway at the Nanded airport. Airport authorities undertook corrective action after September, said officials.
“The route had been shut for 10 years. We insisted on launching the route at the earliest ahead of Guru Gobind Singh’s birthday on December 22. Flyers wishing to come to Nanded from Hyderabad used to land at the Aurangabad airport and travel by road to reach Nanded. We are happy the issue is resolved,” said Ranjit Sinh, public relations officer of the Nanded Gurudwara Board.
Kishore Karmarkar, a businessman from Thane who frequently visits Nanded, expressed happiness over the inauguration of the flight. “It was a much awaited decision. We are happy the route is open now. It will benefit regular visitors like us,” he said.
“The route will benefit the economy of the region as Nanded could see more industrial and commercial development after an air connectivity with Mumbai. In the future, we are keen to launch the Nanded-Amritsar route as well,” said Valsa Nair, Principal Secretary, Civil Aviation.