It seems that the Pratt & Whitney engine issue clouds are now surrounding Khajuraho Airport. Khajuraho Airport in Madhya Pradesh is all set to be exclusively operated by SpiceJet for a temporary period.
IndiGo Halts Khajuraho to Varanasi Link
On October 10th 2023, IndiGo launched Khajuraho Airport as destination number 112. The airline started with daily flights between Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport and Khajuraho Airport via Varanasi Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport. Flight is being operated by an Airbus A320neo with 186 seats in all Economy configuration.
With recent developments, it seems that IndiGo is dropping the Khajuraho to Varanasi direct link with effect from January 19. However, it is most likely a temporary removal. IndiGo has already dropped many routes from Goa Manohar International Airport. Reason behind this operation rationalisation is that the airline is struggling with engine issues. More than 40 aircraft are already grounded with another 40 expected to be grounded by Financial Year end.
Only Operator : SpiceJet
Currently, two Indian airlines serves Khajuraho Airport – IndiGo and SpiceJet. IndiGo connects the airport to Varanasi with daily Airbus A320 flights. On the other hand, SpiceJet connects the airport to Delhi with daily Dash 8 Q400 flights.
With IndiGo stopping services temporarily, SpiceJet will remain the exclusive airline from Khajuraho, until or unless a new airline adds operations. Looking at the track record of SpiceJet, it is not the ost reliable airline in terms of maintaining a route.
Because of this, travel agents from Khajuraho are talking with local Member of Parliaments and Politicians to avoid stopping of this service. According to them, the tourism sector will get affected if this flights are stopped. They added that the IndiGo flight carried a lot of foreign tourists to Khajuraho. If this service stops, there will be a massive impact.
Within 3 months of operations, IndiGo will be ceasing operations at an airport. It is something, which we have never seen in Indian aviation. The only time, IndiGo terminated operations from an Indian airport was in 2020, when it ceased services to Jabalpur. Primary reason was because the route was new and there was low demand due to the pandemic. It later returned to Jabalpur.
We hope that the airline returns to Khajuraho as soon as possible. Everything depends on the issues with Pratt & Whitney engines. If the issues gets resolution, it would be great for Indian aviation industry.
Source : JetArena on Twitter