It’s a dream come true for Uttar Pradesh as the first flight is all set to take off from Kushinagar International Airport on November 26.
The first passenger flight from the Kushinagar International Airport in Kushinagar district will take off for New Delhi at 12:00 pm on Friday, reducing the 14-hour journey to less than two hours.
The SpiceJet airplane will take off from Delhi at 12 O'clock in the day and reach Kushinagar at 1:35 pm. According to officials, the fare of the Kushinagar-Delhi flight, which will be four days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday), will range between Rs 3,500 and Rs 4,000.
The operationalisation of the airports is already bringing in investment, establishing industries, and creating employment opportunities in the eastern part of the state, ensuring its social and economic development
On October 20, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Kushinagar International Airport and welcomed the first flight from Sri Lanka with a delegation that landed at the airport.
Nearly 876 km distance between Kushinagar and Delhi otherwise takes 14 hours to cover by road and would now be traveled in less than two hours, said officials, adding that they were also gearing up to commence flights to Kolkata and Mumbai from December 17 and 18 respectively.
The SpiceJet aircraft will take off from Kolkata at 1:35 pm on December 17 and reach Kushinagar at 3:20 pm. The flight from Kushinagar will take off at 3:40 pm and will return to Kolkata at 5:15 pm. Air service between Kushinagar and Kolkata will be for three days a week-- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Similarly, on December 18, SpiceJet's first flight from Mumbai to Kushinagar will take off at 12:10 pm and reach the destination at 2:25 pm. The return flight from Kushinagar to Mumbai will be from 3 pm. The return flight will reach Mumbai at 5:35 pm. Flights between Kushinagar and Mumbai will be available thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Kushinagar is an important place for Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world as it is believed that Gautam Buddha attained Nirvana here more than 2,500 years ago. It provides connectivity to many places of Buddhist pilgrimage such as Lumbini in Rupandehi district of Nepal; Sarnath in Varanasi, Shravasti near Bahraich, and Bodh Gaya, Rajgir and Vaishali in Bihar.
At present, Uttar Pradesh has eight operational airports, while 13 airports and seven airstrips are being developed. The operational airports handling commercial flights in Uttar Pradesh are Lucknow, Varanasi, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Agra, Kanpur, Prayagraj, and Hindon (Ghaziabad).
The prime minister will lay the foundation stone of the Noida International Airport (Jewar airport) on November 25.