Alliance Air to launch commercial services to Keshod from April 18, 2022

Alliance Air – the only government owned airline in India, will launch services to Keshod in the western state of Gujarat starting Monday, April 18, 2022. The inaugural service was operated on Saturday, April 16, 2022, which saw the Minister of Civil Aviation – Jyotiraditya Scindia being onboard the flights.

The flights were to be operational from March 12, 2022, and were to operate on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday as per the earlier advertisements from Alliance Air on its twitter account. The announcement and launch come a day after Alliance Air moved to its own website. While TATA’s had taken over Air India in January, Alliance Air continued on the Air India website until now.

Image source – AAI

The airline will operate thrice weekly flights between Mumbai and Keshod at the below timings

9I675 BOM1200 – 1325IXK

9I676 IXK1350 – 1510BOM

Flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Flights will be operated by the AATR 72-600.  Alliance Air parks one ATR 72-600 aircraft at Mumbai, which it operates to Diu, Bhuj, Sindhudurg and Goa now. It earlier operated to Bhavnagar – which has been withdrawn to make way for Keshod. Since Bhavnagar isn’t connected by air anymore, the count of operational airports in Gujarat remains the same. The airline recently inducted the Do-228 in its fleet and will also induct the ATR 42-600 soon.

Trujet – which is currently not operating any flights, has won rights to fly to Keshod from Ahmedabad. Subsequently the aerodrome received licence from DGCA, but the flights never took off as Trujet went from facing one problem to another. The route came up for rebidding and Alliance Air won the route in addition to the Mumbai – Keshod route.

Keshod Airport is spread over in Area 450 Acres of Land. It was built in by The Nawab of Junagadh, Nawab Mohabat Khan in early 1930s. The Nawab of Junagadh fled for Pakistan from this very airport post Independence. The Airport hosted its last scheduled commercial flight in October 2000. After launch of RCS-UDAN scheme, Keshod Airport has been listed as RCS airport, and after several infrastructure upgradation work, it is ready to host commecial flights again , with accorded DGCA license for public use aerodrome in March 2021.

The flights are expected to give impetus to tourism in the region. Apart from Gir, the airport will also act as a gateway to Somnath. Gir is home to the Asiatic Lion and the last few years have seen conservation efforts show results. The Somnath temple is one of the most sacred places of worship and believed to be first among twelve Jyotirlingas.  

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