Nagpur, Sep 24: Two new international flights to Doha and Dubai from Nagpur were launched here today by Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel at the Dr Ambedkar International Airport.
The flight to Doha is being operated by Qatar Airways, while the one to Dubai is being operated by Air India Express. Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker was on board the inaugural flight from Doha. The flight will be operated twice a week, leaving Doha at 2200 hrs every Wednesday and Sunday, reaching Nagpur at 0430 hrs the following day. The flight will leave Nagpur at 0535 hrs every Monday and Thursday, arriving in Doha at 0705 hrs the same day.
Speaking at the flagging-off ceremony, Mr Baker said that Nagpur had become the seventh destination in India and 80th overall from which Qatar Airways operated flights. The company will launch a daily flight between Ahmedabad and Doha on December 12 next, he said, adding that among the new destinations to be added during the year is Stockholm (November 27).
The airline will have a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2015, almost double the existing size, with the delivery of 80 Airbus A-350 aircraft and 22 Boeing 777 aircraft. The deliveries of the Boeing aircraft is expected to begin in November next, Mr Baker informed.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Patel said that Indian aviation is growing the fastest in the world, with 40 per cent growth in the domestic sector and 25 per cent in the international sector over last year.
Air India Express, the low-cost carrier of the National Aviation Company of India (NACIL) launched its Mumbai-Nagpur-Dubai-Nagpur-Mumbai flight. The flight, to be operated on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, will leave Nagpur at 1330 hrs, reaching Dubai at 1540 hrs (local time). It will leave Dubai at 1630 hrs (local time), arriving at Nagpur at 2125 hrs.
Speaking at the flagging-off ceremony, Mr Patel said the introduction of the new flight will provide a convenient connection to international travellers from Central India.
NACIL Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) V Tulasidas said that with the launch of the service, the number of flights operated by Air India Express has touched 108. The carrier operates from ten Indian cities to ten foreign stations, he added.