Daily direct flights to Chennai from Wednesday

| | Ranchi
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Daily direct flights to Chennai from Wednesday

Tuesday, 17 November 2020 | PNS | Ranchi

Ranchi-ites will now be able to directly fly to Chennai from the Birsa Munda Airport without having to halt at other destinations for changing flights, and thereby reach the Tamil Nadu capital in hardly two and a half hours, officials from the Ranchi airport said on Monday.

The first flight to Chennai, run by Indigo Airlines, will take off from the Ranchi airport on Wednesday at 8.45 am and land in the Tamil Nadu capital at 11.15 am, airport officials said. The Indigo flight will first ferry passengers from Chennai to Ranchi. It will take off from Chennai airport at 5.45am and land in Ranchi at 8.15am.

“There was a high demand for starting direct flights to Chennai from Ranchi. We have direct flights to Bangalore and Hyderabad, but passengers travelling to Chennai had to take hopping flights. We will finally start direct flight services to Chennai from November 18, and it will be a daily service,” said Deputy General Manager (Air Traffic Management) of Birsa Munda Airport, Wilfred Kerketta.

The timing for Chennai flights may change after January 15 next year once repair of the airstrip at the Ranchi airport is completed. Fight services will remain suspended from 10.15am to 5.30pm every day at the Birsa Munda Airport until January 15 for repairing of the airstrip, said Kerketta, adding that the repair work has started and no flights landed in Ranchi for seven hours on Monday. “All flights have been rescheduled in order to keep the airstrip free for repair works,” he said. 

So far, passengers travelling to Chennai from Ranchi had to take flights to Bangalore, Hyderabad or Kolkata and then take a connecting flight to Chennai. The lack of direct flights to Chennai not only made the journey lengthier by a couple of hours, but also made air tickets dearer, sources said.

The demand for direct flights to Chennai was also fueled by the high frequency of Ranchi residents travelling to Vellore for medical treatments and tests. Vellore is about 140 kilometers from Chennai by road, and patients may now take a flight to Chennai for visiting Vellore instead of opting for trains, which consume more time, said the DGM (ATM).

In September, Ranchi airport officials had sought permission for more flights from the state government owing to high demand and growing passenger density.

Several hundred students from Jharkhand, especially the ones pursuing engineering and MBA in Tamil Nadu colleges, are likely to benefit from the new direct flights. Besides, many working professionals, originally from Ranchi, working in Chennai-based firms may benefit from the direct flights.

The Birsa Munda Airport is fast growing in terms of connectivity with other cities. The largest airport in Jharkhand has 30 flights connecting Ranchi to important cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Now, with the inclusion of Chennai in the list, travelling to destinations in southern India is expected to get easier for Ranchi residents.

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