Air India to connect tier-II cities with metros

New Delhi/Gwalior: Looking to connect tier-II cities with metros, state-owned carrier Air India launched a daily Delhi-Gwalior-Mumbai-Gwalior-Delhi flight on Monday and said it intends to open up five to six more such routes in the coming months.

"After this, Air India will be launching the Delhi- Ranchi-Kolkata flight very soon with an aim to connect the non-metro cities with metros," civil aviation minister, Vayalar Ravi, said after flagging off the Gwalior-Mumbai flight at the Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia airport in Gwalior.

The airline had been operating a thrice-a-week, Delhi-Gwalior flight with an ATR aircraft, but now it has upgraded the route to a daily service with a 122-seater Airbus 319.

Air India CMD Arvind Jadhav said the airline would be launching more such flights this summer.

"Our effort is to provide air connectivity to tier-II cities with metros. Since most of the slots for the direct flights were full, these flights would provide better connectivity to both the metros and the tier-II cities," Jadhav said.

With respect to Kolkata, Jadhav said though the carrier had demand for additional frequency but it was unable to get a prime slot. Hence, it would fly to Ranchi and then to Kolkata, and in the process not only provide connectivity to Ranchi but also provide an additional service to Kolkata.