VIJAYAWADA: Supreme Airlines is all set to begin flight services from Vijayawada to Puttaparthi and Nagarjuna Sagar and back from July 10. The airline, which won the bid to operate the service by outperforming competitors Flytech and Pinnacle Air, will charge `1,200 for one-way flights to and from Nagarjuna Sagar and `3,800 for services between Puttaparthi and Vijayawada. “The project is aimed at developing tourism. The Puttaparthi Sai Trust which owns the airport in Puttaparthi has given its cordial consent for the project,” said Virender Singh, CEO of Andhra Pradesh Airport Development Corporation Limited (APADCL).
“Supreme Airlines won the bid as they offered the lowest subsidy of `23,000 per hour. We will provide them financial support under Viability Gap Funding (VGF),” he added. VGF is a grant provided by the government for the projects which are ‘essential for development’. The flight from Vijayawada to Puttaparthi is scheduled to take off at 7 am and arrive by 8.30 am; it will then depart from Puttaparthi at 9 am and land in Vijayawada at 10.30 am.
The flight from Vijayawada to Nagarjuna Sagar will take off 11 am and arrive in not more than 30 minutes. After a three-and-half-hour break for tourists to visit places, the flight will depart to Vijayawada at 3 pm. The same plane will then fly to Puttaparthi at 5.00 pm and return by 7.30 pm. “The fare will be similar to what the government charges under UDAAN scheme. It is the same model which we have been following in Gujarat and Rajasthan and we can implement it effectively. A single plane will be used for all six flights,” said Supreme Airlines chairman Captain Amit Agarwal.
The online opinion poll for the proposal to introduce flights to Nagarjuna Sagar and Puttaparthi received 6,500 and 1,000 responses respectively. Singh confirmed that tenders would be floated for building an airport at Kuppam in two or three months. “All documents have been ratified and the Chief Minister has given his approval,” he said.