IndiGo – India’s largest carrier by fleet and domestic market share is launching flights to Gwalior (IATA: GWL). The announcement was made by Minister of Civil Aviation – Jyotiraditya Scindia on his twitter handle. Ironic as it may sound, but IndiGo is yet to announce it on social media platforms and the flights are not open for sale. Flights are effective Sept 01, 2021.
Gwalior is the central Indian city – which also happens to be the home for Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. Jyotiraditya Scindia. The airline will connect Gwalior with Delhi to begin with and cannot rule out flights from other parts of the country later. An entry into Gwalior also means attacking another fort of Spicejet – which thus far was enjoying its large presence which started with two RCS-UDAN routes which connected Gwalior to Bengaluru and Jammu. One of the longest sectors for Q400 passenger operations.
Gwalior airport is a very important base of the Indian Air Force and one of the five operational airports in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. With its civil enclave, expansion has been a challenge for years and has been a problem of chicken and egg with airlines also not being attracted to the city. The city is closer to Delhi, than to the state capital Bhopal! The airport can handle two A320/B737s simultaneously on its apron with both being power-in power-out bays. However, the terminal is small with little facilities available and cannot handle as many passengers at the same time.
Spicejet currently operates to Bengaluru, Jammu, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Surat from Gwalior! There has been a sudden barrage of flights to Gwalior after a change in the corner office at the Ministry of Civil Aviation!
IndiGo will connect Gwalior with Delhi and Indore.
6E7356 DEL0710 – 0820GWL
6E7357 GWL1220 – 1330DEL
6E7358 GWL0830 – 1005IDR
6E7359 IDR1020 – 1155GWL
Flights operated daily by ATR 72-600, effective Sept 01 With these flights, Gwalior has started ranking high on the list of airports with connectivity to other airports! Let us see if there are more surprises in store!
The terminal at the airport is a civil enclave managed by Airports Authority of India and is named after Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia – the grandmother of Jyoraditya Scindia and mother of late Madhavrao Scindia (father of Jyotiraditya Scindia and former Civil Aviation minister). Rajmata as she was popularly known in the area was a founding member of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
News reports have indicated that the adjoining land belongs to Potato Research Institute which comes under the Ministry of Agriculture and acquiring land from the institute could be the way out to build a modern terminal. Yet, Gwalior will remain at the mercy of Indian Air Force for watch hours and other operational needs for civilian movements.
Gwalior with a population of over 10 lakh is part of the top 50 cities in the country by population and an important rail head. The airport at Gwalior also serves the region of Jhansi, Shivpuri, Guna and to some extent parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.