Amidst a recent diplomatic row between India and the Maldives, SpiceJet, the Indian budget airline may soon start direct flights to Lakshadweep Island
The airline just announced that it has grabbed exclusive rights to operate flights to the stunning Lakshadweep Islands. This strategic move comes at a time when domestic tourism is witnessing a surge due to the ongoing controversy.
SpiceJet to Connect Agatti Island Directly
SpiceJet’s Chairman and Managing Director, Ajay Singh, announced the acquisition of exclusive rights during the airline’s annual general meeting.
This marks a significant development for connectivity to the picturesque Lakshadweep archipelago, as flights will now directly connect Agatti Island, the region’s sole airfield, bypassing the previous route through Kochi.
UDAN Scheme Paves the Way for Exclusive Flights
Singh further informed that SpiceJet’s exclusive rights stem from the government’s regional connectivity scheme, UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik). This scheme aims to make air travel affordable and accessible to remote and underserved regions like Lakshadweep.
With the recent fund infusion of Rs 2,250 crore, SpiceJet is well-positioned to launch these exclusive flights soon.
Expansion Plans: Stronger Fleet, New Destinations
The fund infusion will not only fuel SpiceJet’s Lakshadweep venture but also contribute to a stronger and more resilient airline. Singh emphasized the positive impact of this investment, highlighting plans to bring grounded planes back into operation.
Additionally, SpiceJet intends to connect Ayodhya with multiple cities across India, further expanding its domestic network.
New Airport at Minicoy Island
According to government sources reported by news agency ANI, the Indian government is strategically moving forward with plans to develop a new airport at Minicoy Island in Lakshadweep. The proposed airport aims to accommodate both military and civilian aircraft, fostering joint airfield capabilities.
Tourism Trends Amidst Diplomatic Controversy
The diplomatic row between India and Maldives, triggered by offensive remarks against PM Modi, has had repercussions in the tourism sector. Following a social media uproar and subsequent diplomatic tensions, there has been a wave of cancellations by tourists who had initially planned vacations in the Maldives.
Furthermore, online travel portals reported an unprecedented surge in searches for domestic beach destinations in response to the unfolding situation.
As SpiceJet gears up to launch exclusive flights to Lakshadweep and invests in network expansion, the tourism industry witnesses a dynamic shift in travel preferences. The diplomatic tensions have led to a surge in interest in domestic beach destinations, presenting new opportunities and challenges for both airlines and online travel platforms.