Prabhat Ranjan Deen
Lucknow, Aug 5: In another step towards easing air travel in the most populous state, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath inaugurated AirAsia India’s flight services connecting the state capital Lucknow with Bengaluru, New Delhi and Goa on Friday. AirAsia’s flight services from Lucknow to Kolkata and Mumbai will commence in September.
Emphasising the importance of seamless air connectivity in ensuring the state’s development and inclusive growth, Yogi Adityanath reiterated his resolve to present Uttar Pradesh as the best state in terms of connectivity, which would also open up new employment opportunities for the youth in the state.
On the occasion, congratulating the people of Lucknow for getting better air services, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia also lauded the efforts and the vision of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for improving air connectivity in the state. “To develop UP according to its potential, as many as 63 new routes have been added recently which will also be increased to about 108 routes,” he said.
Furthermore, the CM said that Uttar Pradesh has benefited immensely from the ‘UDAN’ scheme launched by the Prime Minister. “The rapid expansion in air connectivity is a testament to PM Modi’s commitment where he said that even the ones who wear ‘Hawaii slippers’ should be able to travel in flights,” he said.
Stating that before 2017 the state had only two properly functioning airports Lucknow and Varanasi and that the ones in Gorakhpur and Agra remained functional partially, Yogi said that the provision of air services has significantly improved from 4 airports to just 25 destinations to now 9 airports offering flight services. “Before 5 years, flight services from Lucknow were only available to 15 cities, however, today, as many as 30 cities are connected with the state capital,” he said.
Maintaining that seamless connectivity is essential for the development of any place, the Chief Minister said that his Government has prioritized improving the connectivity in the state be it through expressways, air services or any other medium of travelling. “Soon, the air services will also be started from Aligarh, Azamgarh, Chitrakoot, Shravasti and Sonbhadra,” said Yogi while expressing gratitude to the Union Civil Aviation Minister for the constant cooperation provided by the Centre.
Expressing gratitude to Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State VK Singh and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, AirAsia CEO and MD Sunil Bhaskaran termed the start of the services from Lucknow as historic. He said that 8 Air Asia flights will be available from Lucknow. As many as 5 flights have started today, while 3 flights to Kolkata and Mumbai will start from September.
With the efforts of the double-engine Governments, today, Uttar Pradesh is turning into one of the most convenient states in terms of travelling and transportation. The Chief Minister has worked on improving the Ease of Doing Business and Ease of Living as his priorities and has accordingly taken measures to develop road infrastructure, expressways, and air services, among others, extensively.
With the inauguration of Kushinagar Airport, the local economy of the region has also been strengthened along with promoting tourism. Air services from cities like Agra, Prayagraj, Bareilly, Hindon, Gorakhpur and Kanpur have aided in empowering local entrepreneurs. In addition, the Yogi Government is preparing to start air service from aspirational districts like Chitrakoot, Sonbhadra and Shravasti, which will be helpful in giving growth to the potential of these far-flung areas.
Prabhat Ranjan Deen