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Hometamil-naduSalem Airport resumes operation with inaugural flight from Bengaluru

Salem Airport resumes operation with inaugural flight from Bengaluru

After a gap of two years, the Salem airport on Monday resumed flight operations with Alliance Air operating a flight from Bengaluru to Kochi via the city and Indigo planning to launch two flights connecting Chennai and Hyderabad from October 29.

The Alliance Air flight from Bengaluru landed at around 1.15 pm on Monday, in the first commercial operations in two years after flights from the airport were cancelled in 2021. Alliance Air will operate flights on five days a week, excluding Wednesday and Friday, on the Bengaluru-Salem-Cochin and Cochin-Salem-Bengaluru routes.

From October 29, Indigo will operate flights on four days a week, excluding Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, on the Bengaluru-Salem-Hyderabad, and Hyderabad-Salem-Bengaluru. The airline will also operate daily flights from Salem to Chennai from October 29.

All three are 72-seater ATR aircraft which ply short distances. Flight operations at the airport resumed under Udan 5.0 – Salem is the only airport in Tamil Nadu that is operating flights under the Udan scheme though several other cities like Hosur, Thanjavur, and Vellore were also chosen for air operations.

“We welcomed the first set of passengers in two years on Monday. We are looking forward to two more flights from October 29,” Salem Airport Manager G Ramesh toldDH.

Though flight operations have resumed from Salem, it remains to be seen whether the airlines will continue to run its services. One reason is the distance between Salem and Bengaluru is just 200 km and takes four hours by road, but since the destinations this time include Kochi and Hyderabad, there are chances of good patronage, industry sources said.

Spread over an area of 136 acres in Omalur taluk, Salem Airport began its operations in 1993 with a flight to Chennai which was stopped within three months. Decades later, the airport resumed operations in November 2009 but the flight services to Chennai were stopped in 2011 due to poor patronage.

After seven years, the airport began operating flights to Chennai from Salem in 2018 which came to a halt in 2021.

(Published 16 October 2023, 14:23 IST)

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