IndiGo – India’s largest carrier by fleet and domestic market share will launch flights to Agra (IATA: AGR, ICAO: VIAG), the tourist hotspot this summer. Agra is one of the seven destinations which the airline has planned to launch between now and May.
IndiGo will connect Agra with Bengaluru, Bhopal and Lucknow with Daily flights. The flights are now open for sale on the airline’s website and are effective March 28,2021. The flights between Bengaluru and Agra will be operated by the A320 family while those to Bhopal and Lucknow will operated by the ATR72-600 aircraft.
6E5916 BLR1115 – 1340AGR
6E5917 AGR1410 – 1645BLR
6E7929 AGR1105 – 1230BHO
6E7931 BHO1255 – 1430AGR
6E7928 LKO0900 – 1045AGR
6E7932 AGR1450 – 1610LKO
Second brush with Agra
IndiGo had planned to operate to Agra starting March 05, 2020. It was to be the airline’s 63rd domestic destination and 86th overall. However, as the country headed into a lockdown with COVID cases increasing by the end of February and early March – plans of all airlines went into a spiral.
Agra airport is part of the Indian Air Force station and is one of the largest air bases in south east asia. The small civil enclave can barely handle over 200 passengers at a time! Agra – on the banks of Yamuna is world famous for the Taj Mahal. While the city is only 200 kilometers from New Delhi, until recently the journey took as long as six or seven hours. Agra is part of the golden triangle of tourism with the other two points being Jaipur and New Delhi.
Alliance Air – the subsidiary of Air India operates a non-stop flight between Jaipur and Agra. In the past, Kingfisher Airlines has operated seasonal flights between Agra and New Delhi.
The city largely relies on Tourism as a mover of economy but there are other small and medium enterprises, leather works and iron foundries which shore up the cities economy.
Aligarh, Etawah, Firozabad and to some extent even Gwalior region of Madhya Pradesh are the catchment areas for Agra.
While the Bengaluru – Agra route is under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN (Udey Desh ka Aam Nagrik), the other two routes which the airline is planning to operate – Bhopal – Agra and Lucknow – Agra are interesting. Agra to Lucknow – the state capital is a over 300 km route by road while Bhopal – the capital of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh is over 500 kms away.
Decoding the schedule Network Thoughts could figure out that the airline plans to base one ATR72-600 aircraft at Indore, which will operate Indore – Lucknow – Agra – Bhopal – Agra – Lucknow – Dehradun – Lucknow – Indore rotation. The airline already has a base at Indore for its A320 family aircraft.
This will help connect Indore with Lucknow and augment capacity and frequency on Lucknow – Dehradun sector, where the airline already operates a daily A320 flight. While initially the airline had said that it would not operate the A320 family and the ATR on the same routes and keep a separate network plan for the ATR, the thought has long been parked and there have been multiple routes where the A320 and ATR fly together.
Edited Feb 09,2021: The airline has stopped selling the Lucknow – Agra sector and would instead base the ATR in Ahmedabad to operate Ahmedabad – Bhopal – Agra and back