TATA Group Mainline Carrier, Air India has unveiled its plans to launch flights to a new destination. Recently, the airline launched a new destination internationally – Phuket on December 15. Now, it is time for a new destination in domestic market. The airline will start this brand new destination in March month. It is all set to revive the Jet Airways legacy route.
Air India : Mumbai to Bhuj
Air India has announced its plans to start non-stop flights between Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (Maharashtra) and Bhuj International Airport in Gujarat, India. Bhuj is a civil enclave operated jointly by Indian Air Force and Airports Authority of India.
With effect from March 1, Air India will start non-stop flights between both these cities. Flights will be operated daily using an Airbus A320neo aircraft.
Bhuj Airport has a single runway with a length of 8,205 ft. It is capable of handling aircraft like Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
The Airbus A320neo will depart from Mumbai CSMIA Airport at 07:05 hrs and will arrive at Bhuj Airport at 08:20 hrs. After a halt of 35 minutes, it will depart from Bhuj Airport at 08:55 hrs and will reach Mumbai Airport at 10:10 hrs.
The airline says that with this route, it aims to fulfill the humongous demand on this sector. Back in the past, Jet Airways used to operate flights on this route with Boeing 737 aircraft. This route had substantial traffic at that time. This link between both cities will promote trade exchanges. It will serve as a gateway to around 20 cities in domestic sectors.
Not only will this service connect passengers from Bhuj to Mumbai, but will also provide international connections. If a passenger wants to travel from Bhuj to London, New York, San Francisco, Dubai or Singapore, Air India flight is the best option as the airline will provide timely connections from Mumbai CSMIA.
Bhuj and Its Connectivity
Bhuj Airport (IATA: BHJ, ICAO: VABJ) is situated in Bhuj, in the Kutch District of Gujarat state, India. It is 4 kilometers away from Bhuj. All arrivals and departures at the airport are handled by a single terminal. 350 people can pass through the terminal at once. It can accommodate up to 200 people arriving and 200 people leaving through its two boarding gates. One security counter and four check-in counters are present. The AAI provides three x-ray baggage scanners in addition to one entry gate.
The apron can simultaneously house two Boeing 737-800 aircraft, while the airport can handle aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A320 family. At Bhuj Airport, there is also a permanent helipad.
Talking about the network from Bhuj Airport, it is connected to two Indian cities currently. Star Air connects the airport to Ahmedabad with daily Embraer ERJ145 flights. On the other hand, Alliance Air connects it to Mumbai with daily ATR 72 flights. Soon, number of Mumbai flights will double with introduction of Air India flights.
There is a very interesting tale about Bhuj Airport. During 1971 war with Pakistan, the Pakistan Air Force bombed the Bhuj Air Base. Runway was damaged and it was needed to be repaired as soon as possible because of the strategic location of Bhuj. A group of villagers comprising mostly of women repaired the Runway during wartime within 72 hours.