India’s second largest airline SpiceJet has launched seven new nonstop routes in the country, with six being an industry first, giving smaller cities a place on the aviation map.

The airline says in a press statement that it is the first and only airline operating non-stop flights connecting Bhavnagar-Delhi, Bhavnagar-Surat, Gwalior-Jaipur, Kishangarh (Ajmer)-Mumbai, Pune-Tirupati and Varanasi-Dehradun. The airline will also launch a non-stop flight connecting Bhavnagar with Mumbai, it adds.

The Varanasi-Dehradun flights are daily, Bhavnagar-Delhi and Bhavnagar-Mumbai flights are six-times weekly. Gwalior-Jaipur and Kishangarh (Ajmer)-Mumbai flights are four times weekly while Bhavnagar-Surat and Pune-Tirupati flights are thrice weekly, the carrier notes.

SpiceJet says it is serving the routes using De Havilland Aircraft of Canada Dash 8-400s. 

With the launch of new flight services, passengers from Bhavnagar can now conveniently travel to a host of cities on the airline’s domestic and international network via connecting flights from Delhi and Mumbai, it adds.

Bhavnagar, a city in west India’s Gujarat state, is the largest producer of salt and has various industries in the region, such as the diamond cutting and polishing industry.

SpiceJet chairman and managing director, Ajay Singh says the new routes are in line with the airline’s commitment to enhance regional connectivity and put the smaller cities on the country’s aviation map.

“Bhavnagar is the sixth big city in Gujarat where SpiceJet will fly to. Home to the world’s largest ship breaking yard, Bhavnagar has great potential for both business and leisure travelers and the increased air connectivity will help further boost trade and tourism,” he adds.

According to the airline’s website, SpiceJet operates a fleet of Boeing 737s, Dash 8-400s and freighters.

SpiceJet earlier reported a loss in the first quarter of its 2022 fiscal year, ending 30 June, citing a second wave of the pandemic. Despite the decline in passenger traffic, the airline’s cargo and logistics business was strong. 

Indian online news website Indiatvnews, reported in 2017 that small regional carrier Air Odisha was serving the Bhavnagar-Surat route under the UDAN-Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).

This is the Indian government’s regional connectivity scheme, where airlines receive government subsidies – such as viability gap funding and tax concessions – in exchange for operating under-served domestic routes.

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