The tourism industry in Agra is upbeat as more cities are set to be air connected with the Taj city.
Ahead of the beginning of the new tourist season in September, the prospect of more cities being added to the list is bright, say hoteliers, as the local MPs are pursuing the demand for international air connectivity.
“Agra will gain more when direct flights from international destinations start landing here,” said senior hotelier Sandip Arora.
The Civil Aviation Ministry has indicated that flights from Indore and Goa could start operating in a month’s time. Demands have been made to start a direct flight from Mysore to Agra, the two important tourist destinations of the country.
Last week, responding to persistent demands from the local businessmen, Indigo airlines began flights from Ahmedabad to Agra, three days a week.
Agra is now air connected with five cities — Bangaluru, Bhopal, Lucknow, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. An airport official said that flights to Goa and Indore could start soon.
The local tourism industry is hopeful that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would keep his promise of allowing international flights to land at the local Kheria airport, now renamed as Pandit Deen Dayal Airport, so that foreign visitors could fly into Agra directly without touching Delhi or Mumbai, saving precious time.
The Agra airport is part of the Air Force base. Work on constructing a new terminal outside the Air Force area is progressing fast. Sources said that once an independent passage and a new terminal building comes up, more airlines would show interest in connecting Agra with other cities in India.