India is eyeing on the most travelled route by Tirupati temple pilgrims and Stopover flights will take passengers from temple town. Tirupati, which attracts a large number of pilgrims to the Lord Venkateswara temple in Tirumala, will get directly connected by air to the United States and to Dubai from June end.
According to Ajay Jain, Principal Secretary, Energy, Infrastructure and Investments, “Air India will operate flights to these locations, and the US cities to be served are to be announced shortly. Initially, there would be one flight a day, and services could be scaled up based on demand”.
The new route will help pilgrims avoid taking the route via Chennai. It will be possible to go through travel formalities at Tirupati and take a stopover flight originating from Chennai or other cities.
Additionally, work on opening other airports at Dagadarthi, Orvakallu, Donakonda, Nagarjunasagar, and Bhogapuram is progressing well.
According to the principal secretary, “There was a 48 % growth in air passenger traffic at Tirupati airport last year”. Airports in Andhra Pradesh handled around 18 lakh passengers during 2014-15 and it was expected that the volume would reach approximately 28 lakh passengers this year. This new air connectivity policy through golden routes, aims at boosting regional development and attracting investment by developing regional air connectivity at district and regional headquarters and smaller centres.