Alliance Air, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India has chalked out aggressive expansion plans which include launch of flights to newer destinations, a top official has said.
Alliance Air recently launched its maiden overseas flight from Chennai to Jaffna making it the 55th destination connected by the airline.
Alliance Air CEO C S Subbiah said the airline would connect various cities including Jagdalpur, Raipur, Gulbarga and Hubli among others.
"We are look at flying to Jagdalpur, Gulbarga. These are the two new routes. The flight from Gulbarga will connect to Bengaluru and later to Chennai," he told PTI.
Jagdalpur route would be connected from Hyderabad then later to Raipur and then it would go to Bhopal, he said.
Subbiah said Alliance Air was utilising the Centre's UDAN scheme one hundred per cent and added that they were "forerunners" operating under the scheme.
UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme commenced in 2017, is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) aimed at making air travel affordable.
Under the scheme, 50 per cent seats in aeroplanes are offered at concessional rates to passengers. Elaborating on the proposal to launch new flights,
Subbiah said, "In 2015 we were hardly in 15 stations. Under (Air India CMD) Lohani's leadership we are now connecting 54 destinations. The 55th route was Chennai to Jaffna."
On the launch of new routes in the country, he said, there are plans to connect cities in the North-East.
"We are also planning to connect from Guwahati to Dimapur (Nagaland) and then Imphal (Manipur)," he said.
To a query, he said the airline launching routes in Gulbarga, Jagdalpur and Hyderabad-Hubli would be with new flights (ATR-72 flights) to operate in the region.
From Chennai, he said, the airliner would look at connecting Madurai and Tiruchirappalli.
"In Madurai we have lot of businessmen while in Tiruchirapalli there are lot of resettled families," he added.
To a query on the launch of service in Western parts of the country, he said, "we are starting Nashik to Pune. And then, we are starting from Ahmedabad to Kandla."
"All the new launches will be in winter. In the next two months we will be rolling out (connect new routes across the country)," Subbiah said.
On the launch of direct flight to Jaffna from Chennai, Air India Chief Ashwani Lohani said it was a major thing for Alliance Airline since it is the first international flight.
"Beginning with this (Chennai-Jaffna route), Alliance Air can connect with nearby countries like SAARC nation," he said.
An Alliance Air flight from Chennai landed at the Jaffna International Airport on October 17 as Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena inaugurated the country's third international airport, upgraded with India's assistance, in the Tamil-dominated Northern Province.
The inaugural flight from Chennai was the first to land at the new international airport in Jaffna. The ATR 72-600 aircraft was accorded a water salute (salute with water splashes) as it landed at the Jaffna airport, about 400-km from capital Colombo.