Those, who travels to Varanasi and Dehradun from Mumbai has a reason to cheer. India’s National Career Air India is expanding its wings in North India. Air India is set to connect Mumbai with Dehradun and Varanasi. Air India has deployed an Airbus 319 aircraft on this sector. The flights have already commenced their flying from 28th September 2019.
Flight AI-689, which will operate every Wednesday and Saturday, will leave Mumbai at 10.25 a.m. to reach Dehradun at 12.40 p.m., and leave from there at 1.10 p.m. to land at Varanasi at 2.35 p.m. The return flight AI-690 will leave Varanasi at 3.05 p.m. and arrive at Dehradun at 4.30 p.m. The flight will take off from there at 5 p.m. and reach Mumbai at 7 p.m.
Vinay Gopal Singh, a frequent flyer to both these cities says “It is a blessing in disguise. There is inadequate flight connectivity for these two important cities. The fare of private airlines is very high. Introduction of AI flights would certainly be more economical then private airlines. Although there is enough traffic for both these cities but flights are inadequate. These extended flights would also run full with its capacity. Air India should think connecting cities of North India which would generate adequate revenue for the airline”.
A statement from Air India said that “It is set to be the first flight that will connect Dehradun to Varanasi. The flight will fulfill a long-standing demand of tourists and pilgrims to connect Dehradun and Varanasi with the commercial capital of India – Mumbai. The service will also give fillip to Air India’s Connect India mission, wherein the national carrier has been connecting Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities in sync with the government’s regional connectivity scheme (RCS) to make flying accessible to everybody.”
It may be noted that until April 2019, Jet Airways was the only airline to connect Mumbai to Dehradun directly. Currently, SpiceJet operates two daily flights while IndiGo operates one daily flight to Dehradun from the city. Vistara and Air India operate one direct flight each to Varnasi, while Indigo operates two.
A senior official from Air India on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to media says “Air India has bigger plans to introduce their flights to untapped destinations in India. The management is contemplating to be visible in every small and bigger cities of India. The work on expansion of routes is on top priority. Once again Air India would lead Indian sky like never before”.