SpiceJet discontinues Hyderabad-Ayodhya flights within two months of launch

Updated - June 11, 2024 08:01 pm IST

Published - June 11, 2024 08:00 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Within two months of the launch a direct flight from Hyderabad to Ayodhya, SpiceJet has discontinued this route, effective from June 1. The airline was operating an Airbus A320 aircraft on this route.

The inaugural flight took off on April 2, with flight SG 611 departing Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at 10.45 a.m. and arriving at Ayodhya’s Maharishi Valmiki International Airport at 12:45 p.m. The return flight, SG 616, left Ayodhya at 1:25 p.m. and landed back in Hyderabad at 3:25 p.m. This schedule of three direct flights in a week persisted until May 30, when the last direct flight was operated, according to flight tracking websites.

Currently, booking a flight from Hyderabad to Ayodhya on the airline’s website involves a layover at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, with a total flight time of seven hours and 25 minutes. “Usually, when an airline discontinues a route, it indicates poor ticket sales. Initially, there was significant enthusiasm for visiting Ayodhya, but it gradually declined,” said an airline representative.

On March 31, Telangana BJP Chief G. Kishan Reddy, who was then the Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, posted a letter on X that he had written to the Minister for Civil Aviation requesting to connect Hyderabad and Ayodhya. In the letter dated February 26, he stated, “The immense religious significance for countless devotees has led to the demand for efficient and direct transportation to Ram Janmabhoomi. Currently, the lack of direct flight service between Hyderabad and Ayodhya poses a significant challenge for devotees who wish to travel conveniently.”

As of February, the airline was connecting eight Indian cities to Ayodhya but since then it has terminated direct flights from six of those eight cities which are Chennai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Patna, Darbhanga, and Hyderabad. Currently, SpiceJet only offers direct flights to Ayodhya from Ahmedabad and Delhi.

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