The city will soon be connected with one more international destination, Sharjah, through a direct flight.
Air India's wholly owned subsidiary and low-cost arm, Air India Express, is set to operate flights on the Sharjah-Vijayawada-Sharjah route twice a week from October 31.
The airline has also made tickets available for booking on its website for the four-hour journey between Sharjah-Vijayawada and Vijayawada-Sharjah every Monday and Saturday.
As per the tentative schedule, the aircraft will leave Sharjah International Airport at 11 a.m. and reach Vijayawada by 4.25 p.m. In the return direction, it will leave for Sharjah at 6.35 p.m. The price starts from ₹12,000.
Vijayawada International Airport Director M. Lakshmikanth Reddy said that Air India Express was already operating one service per week to Muscat of Oman. Two more services to Sharjah would be added soon.
He said the airport would be handling a total of three international services per week. Direct flights between Muscat and Vijayawada were being operated every Tuesday.
Having direct flight to the two destinations will help many from Prakasam, Guntur, Bapatla, Palnadu, Krishna, NTR, Eluru, West Godavari, Kakinada, East Godavari and Konaseema districts who work in the Gulf countries.
Several direct flights were operated between the city and other destinations in Gulf countries during the COVID-19 pandemic under the Vande Bharat Mission.
Earlier, Indigo had operated direct flights to Singapore from Vijayawada in collaboration with the State government for more than six months. It was the first international service from the city airport that was accorded international status in August 2017.
The TDP government, through the Andhra Pradesh Airports Development Corporation Limited (APADCL), had hired Indigo and operated a bi-weekly service from December 4, 2019, after an inordinate delay in the issuance of certain permissions by the Central agencies.
The government also paid Viability Gap Funding to the airline, and there was only 50% occupancy.