PATNA: Budget carrier SpiceJet on Monday announced the launch of daily direct flights connecting Darbhanga with Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, starting from November 8.
Darbhanga airport, which was bagged by SpiceJet under UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) II, will be the airline’s 13th destination under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme and 55th destination in its domestic network.
The Bengaluru-Darbhanga-Bengaluru flight (SG- 493/ 494) would land at Darbhanga at 11.15 am and depart at 4.25 pm, while Mumbai-Darbhanga-Mumbai flight (SG- 705/ 706) would land at 12.10 pm and leave for Mumbai at 12.40 pm. The flight SG- 495/ 496 between Delhi and Darbhanga would arrive at 3.55 pm and fly back to Delhi at 11.45 am. The airlines would operate its Boeing 737- 800 on all three routes. The airline is offering all-inclusive introductory one-way promotional fare starting at Rs 3,799 on all routes.
A SpiceJet executive at Patna airport told this newspaper that the booking for Delhi-Darbhanga, Bengaluru- Darbhanga and Mumbai-Darbhanga sectors have started on portals and ticketing counters at the city airport. “People can also book tickets from travel agents. The ticket counters at Darbhanga airport will be operational once the ongoing work on civil enclave is complete,” an executive said.
Ajay Singh, chairman- cum- managing director of the airline in a statement stated that new daily flights from Darbhanga from November 8 would connect the city with key metros — Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. “I am delighted to announce the launch of our much-awaited flight services to and from Darbhanga putting this key city on the country’s aviation map and making the upcoming festival season all the more special,” he said.
He added, “Providing air connectivity to smaller towns has been a top priority for us and our latest addition couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for Bihar when thousands travel back home for Diwali and Chhath Puja.”
Commencement of commercial flight operations from Darbhanga airport would be a boon for 22 districts of north Bihar, including Muzaffarpur, Madhubani, Samastipur, Sitamarhi, Champaran, Saharsa and Purnia among others.
Recently, civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri visited the Darbnhanga airport and reviewed the progress of work there.
GK Chandana, the project incharge of Darbhanga airport, DGM-AAI told this newspaper that 53% work on the airstrip was over before monsoon. “We would fulfil the basic requirement for flight operations by October- end. We had started the work on the airstrip on Sunday (September 20), but due to rains we stopped. We would analyse the situation for next two- days before restarting the re-carpeting work,” he said.
Darbhanga Airport has a runway of 9000ft, while 7,545feet (2300m) is the required length for safe landing for aircraft like Boing 737s and Airbus A320s, as per the guideline of the Federal Aviation Administration, USA.