The first flight service between Ballari and Hyderabad was flagged off by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, as part of UDAN under the regional connectivity scheme of the union government, from Jindal airport here on Thursday.
The inaugural flight with around 30 passengers, being operated daily by Hyderabad-based Truejet company, that took off at Hyderabad at 6.25 a.m. landed at Jindal airport at 7.31 am. In its return journey, the 72-seater plane, with around 40 passengers on board, took off at 8.01 a.m.
Mr. Sinha said efforts are on to extend the UDAN scheme to more Tier II cities in the country so as to give a boost to tourism, economy, trade and commerce, besides enabling the common man to fly at an affordable cost.
“Our policy package under UDAN has been made very attractive besides ensuring that both the operators and passengers are benefited. This policy has enabled private operators to come forward to provide regional connectivity. Accordingly, 30 more airports were added, which in turn will benefit the economic growth of the region and also give a boost to tourism,” he said.
Mr. Sinha said that in Karnataka, flight services have already been introduced in Belagavi, Hubballi, Mysuru and Vijayanagar (Ballari). A few other cities would be added to the list. “Truejet has assured to introduce flight services between Vijayanagar (Ballari) and Bengaluru soon. We are also planning to link Vijayanagar (Ballari) with Goa too to attract tourists to the Hampi World Heritage site,” he said.
To a question, he said that increasing the number of flight services depended on the demand.
Minister for Labour Santosh Lad said the introduction of flight services would immensely benefit the region and recalled the contribution of the state government in building the required infrastructure for providing air connectivity to various districts.
MP B. Sriramulu, chairman and managing director of JSW Group Sajjan Jindal spoke.
Karadi Sanganna, Koppal MP; K.C. Kondaiah, MLC; B.S. Anand Singh, MLA; Umesh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Truejet; Vinod Nowal, Head JSW Steel; Ramprasath Manohar, Deputy Commissioner; and K.V. Rajendra, ZP CEO; were present.