Gujarat’s skies will become one of the busiest in the country in the next couple of months with at least two airlines starting operations to connect various cities of the state. Eight flights daily will connect Bhuj, Rajkot and Jamnagar to Ahmedabad and Surat, making it the only state in the country with such connectivity.
While Luan Airways, a start-up regional airline from Guwahati, would be based in Surat, Ventura Airlines is in the process of starting operations soon.
“Luan would connect Surat with Bhuj, Rajkot and Bhavnagar initially , while Ventura would connect Ahmedabad with Jamnagar, Bhavnagar , Bhuj and Surat,” Gujarat tourism and civil aviation secretary Vipul Mittra told the Media. Luan has obtained requisite permissions from the central agencies and is to start flying in two months.
The aircraft will be 80-seater or less. To start with, Luan will place two aircraft at Surat, a 19-seater Beechcraft to connect the diamond city with Bhavnagar and Rajkot and a 50-seater aircraft for other destinations.
New flights would cut travel time drastically, especially between cities like Surat and Rajkot, and Ahmedabad and Jamnagar. Use of smaller aircraft and no-frills services would help airlines run their business, a government official said.
Gujarat’s civil aviation department has set up a special purpose vehicle called Gujarat Civil Aviation Company to develop private airstrips to fly small planes between tourism centres for quick movement of tourists. The government resolution formalising the formation of the company was issued on Tuesday.
The department has also put in place a new civil aviation policy, which aims at improving connectivity, airstrips and helipads across Gujarat . The state has 12 main airstrips, and several smaller ones, a government official said. There are seven helipads in the state.