In another step towards easing air travel in the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, on Friday, inaugurated AirAsia India’s air services connecting state capital Lucknow with Bengaluru, New Delhi and Goa.
AirAsia’s flights from Lucknow to Kolkata and Mumbai will commence in September.
Emphasising the importance of seamless air connectivity in ensuring the state’s development and inclusive growth, Yogi Adityanath reiterated his resolve to present Uttar Pradesh as the best state in terms of connectivity, which would also open up new employment opportunities for the youth in the state.
On the occasion, congratulating the people of Lucknow for getting better air services, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia lauded the efforts of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for improving air connectivity in the state.
“To develop UP according to its potential, as many as 63 new routes have been added recently which will also be to about 108 routes,” he said.
The chief minister said that Uttar Pradesh had benefited immensely from the 'UDAN' scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The rapid expansion in air connectivity is a testament to Prime Minister Modi’s commitment where he said that even those who wear ‘Hawaii slippers’ should be able to travel in flights,” he said.
Stating that before 2017, UP had only two properly functioning airports — at Lucknow and Varanasi — while the ones in Gorakhpur and Agra remained partially functional, Yogi said that the provision of air services had significantly improved from four airports to just 25 destinations to now nine airports offering air services.
“Before five years, flight services from Lucknow were only available to 15 cities, however, today, as many as 30 cities are connected with the state capital,” he said.
Maintaining that seamless connectivity was essential for the development of any place, the chief minister said that his government had prioritised improvement in the connectivity in the state, be it through expressways, air services or any other mode of travelling.
“Soon, air services will also be started from Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Shravasti and Sonbhadra,” Yogi said, while expressing gratitude to the Union civil aviation minister for the constant cooperation provided by the Centre.
Expressing gratitude to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State VK Singh, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and AirAsia CEO and MD Sunil Bhaskaran termed the start of the services from Lucknow as historic.
Bhaskaran said that eight AirAsia flights would be available from Lucknow. He said as many as five flights had started on Friday, while three flights to Kolkata and Mumbai would start from September.
With the efforts of the double-engine governments, today, Uttar Pradesh is turning into one of the most convenient states in terms of travelling and transportation. The chief minister has worked on improving the ease of doing business and ease of living and has accordingly taken measures to develop road infrastructure, expressways and air services, among others, extensively.
With the inauguration of Kushinagar airport, the local economy of the region has also been strengthened along with promoting tourism. Air services from cities like Agra, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Hindon, Gorakhpur and Kanpur Nagar have aided in empowering local entrepreneurs. In addition, the Yogi government is preparing to start air service from aspirational districts like Chitrakoot, Sonbhadra and Shravasti, which will be helpful in giving growth to the potential of these far-flung areas.