Air India has mooted a proposal to start flights to India connecting Chandigarh with Dubai and Bangkok. However, the approval of the proposed flights is still pending with the Indian Ministry of Defence.

Various online sources revealed that India’s national flag carrier, Air India (AI) has proposed to operate flights to Dubai and Bangkok from Chandigarh Airport. Recently, AI officials from Chandigarh gave a presentation related to the proposed flights at New Delhi. However, with the final approval yet pending, the proposed flights are yet to see the light of the morning.

The proposals to start international flights from the city have been mooted several times over the past few years. However, the Ministry of Defence has turned down the proposals. The sources further revealed that AI officials hope that the airline’s status as a state carrier might help it to obtain Ministry’s approval to start international flights from Chandigarh International Airport.

AI prepared the proposal after surveying the demands of the locals. It is believed that direct flights to India connecting popular travel destinations of Dubai and Bangkok would be received well by the local commuters and holiday makers. The presentation explaining about the proposed flights was given to the Air India’s Chairman and Managing Director (CMD).

Air India Station Manager M R Jindal said, “A proposal has been mooted with the CMD for starting direct flights to Dubai and Bangkok. It was felt that there would be high traffic on these routes and the flights would prove to be a success. The approval from the CMD is awaited.”

Chandigarh International Airport has been long waiting to host international flights. Air Arabia, popular choice for tickets on cheap flights to India from the Middle East, had recently mooted a proposal to start a flight to Sharjah but failed to procure approval from the Indian Ministry of Defence. Besides Air Arabia, several other airlines have also been declined permission to start international flights.

Chandigarh Airport is said to have invested around INR 800 million to renovate its new terminal building that opened in April 2011. Sprawling over 17 acres, airport’s new terminal houses two huge and spacious floors. The airport has also obtained ‘custom airport’ status, which is mandatory to operate international fights.

Earlier, Air India proposed to start domestic flights connecting Chandigarh to Mumbai. Presently, there is just one Air India flight that operates from Chandigarh Airport.

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