Mangaluru: Summer schedule at Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) literally got off to an early start with arrival of maiden IndiGo flight from Pune at 12.42am on Monday March 28.
The inaugural flight with 82 passengers landed 38 minutes ahead of its scheduled arrival of 1.20am, marking the entry of Pune as the newest destination to be ever served from this coastal city. The flight departed for Pune with 124 passengers at 2.40am.
The introduction of this flight saw a late-night buzz at the #GatewayToGoodness with the airline holding a small celebration with passengers and other stakeholders. Lighting of the traditional lamp, cutting of a cake added to the on ground pre-flight excitement. Passengers who arrived early for the early morning flight participated in the celebration and enjoyed the cake and other snacks.
The airport arranged for a traditional water cannon salute to the aircraft as it taxied into the parking stand. Captain Aman Gupta acknowledged this gesture by making an onboard flight announcement to this effect on behalf of his six-member crew that included first officer Gaurav Singh and cabin crew, Mamata Negi, Ashitha Nisar Sayyed, Meenakshi Yadav and Bhageshwari Gopaldas.
The significance of this new flight was not lost on passengers either. S. N. Bhat, a senior professional working in Delhi and a native of Mangaluru said the through flight with a 30-minute layover in Pune is ideal for professionals like him. The flight that leaves Mangaluru reaches Delhi at 6.55 am after the layover. The other option to fly to Delhi is a time consuming one as of now, Bhat said.
For Pranav, a student, the flight was handy for him to reach Pune, his hometown with his grandmother after his summer vacation. Despite the early morning arrival and subsequent departure, the passengers were quite happy to be part of both the flights. The airline too exuded happiness at the healthy flight load. The new flight will operate four times a week on the Delhi-Pune-Mangaluru sector.
Introduction of the new flight is also a reaffirmation of the commitment of the airport to add new sectors, both domestic and international for greater travelling convenience of passengers. Airport is committed to extending all help to airlines that wish to start flights to and from this #GatewayToGoodness and the summer schedule will create more such flying opportunities for passengers.