The stage is set for putting the Visakhapatnam airport on the international aviation map with the scheduled launch of the Visakhapatnam -- Dubai (via Hyderabad) Air India flight on March 25.The first AI flight (Dubai -- Visakhapatnam) will leave Dubai at 00.55 hrs (local time) and reach Visakhapatnam at 8 a.m. via Hyderabad and leave for Dubai at 6.20 p.m. for Dubai (via Hyderabad) and reach its destination at 10.25 p.m. (local time).
The direct flight will also be useful to senior citizens travelling to meet their children, employed in the Gulf. This is because the hassle change of flights and customs and immigration checks at other international airports can be avoided as all the procedures for international travel can be completed in Visakhapatnam itself. The through ticket is also economical to passengers as they need not go to Hyderabad or Chennai to take the connecting flight.
A host of events are lined up by the Air Travellers Association (India) & Vizag Air Travellers' Association to welcome the first international flight arriving here from Dubai on March 25 and to see off the passengers of the first flight from Visakhapatnam to Dubai, the same evening. The celebrations will begin with the inauguration of a 'travel mart' by Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao on the Beach Road near YMCA on March 23. AP Tourism Development Corporation, Air India, SpiceJet, Jet Airways, Airports Authority of India, travel agencies, tour operators and institutions dealing with travel will participate in the programme, which will continue till 8 p.m. on March 25. A kite festival on the theme 'aircrafts' will be held on March 23 in which about 100 persons are expected to participate. A walkathon would be held from the NTR statue to the YSR statue on the Beach Road on March 24 in which about 200 walkers from Walkers International, Lions International, NSS, students of schools and colleges are expected to attend. A total of 25 members of Waltair Cycle Club would participate in the cyclathon from the Rama Krishna Beach to the Airport to welcome the first flight on March 25.Cultural programmes would be held on the beach the same evening. The Air India flight to Dubai would be flagged off by the Chief Minister at 6.40 p.m.A mascot will be launched on March 22 and four helium balloons would be launched at Gajuwaka, Railway Station, and on the Beach Road.
Air Travellers Association (India) president D. Varada Reddy said that Thai Airlines was keen on introducing direct flights from Visakhapatnam to Bangkok from July this year. He said that the Rs.6,400 fare per person (introductory offer of Air India) from Visakhapatnam to Dubai was applicable to those who book in groups of four or more.
Keywords: About Visakhapatnam International Airport