Aviation News

SpiceJet heads back to Bhavnagar with flights from Mumbai and Pune

SpiceJet is once again heading to Bhavnagar. However, this time, the airline will not fly to Delhi from Bhavnagar but rather to a very interesting destination, Pune!

Headed back

This is rather interesting because SpiceJet is again heading to Bhavnagar, a city which it stopped flying to because of low load factors. The airline used to fly 6-times-a-week to Mumbai until March 2022. On 27th March 2022, the summer season kicked off and SpiceJet decided to stop serving Bhavnagar (the airline had reduced flights between Mumbai and Bhavnagar to 3-times-a-week well before suspending the route).

In addition to Mumbai, the airline also served Delhi. The Delhi flight was not getting enough passengers due to poor demand and eventually the airline had to stop flying between Delhi and Bhavnagar. The point to note is that flights from Bhavnagar to Mumbai and Delhi were launched under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), under the which the Government of India, state governments and airport operators offer financial incentives to airlines to launch new routes and connect regional India. However, both the routes failed to perform even under the RCS scheme.

However, the low cost carrier is again showing confidence in Bhavnagar. Honestly speaking, the airline is showing much more confidence than before. I am saying this because the airline which faced poor demand for a route like Bhavnagar-Delhi wants to start flights on Bhavnagar-Pune route.

Although the airline is starting flights between Bhavnagar and Pune under the RCS scheme, a route which SpiceJet was awarded a few years ago, I honestly don’t know what SpiceJet is even trying to do here. Instead of this, it can use the same aircraft to work out a different market out of Pune, which is of course not as small as Bhavnagar but a sizeable one.

Let’s get into the details of the new flights. Starting 5th May 2022, SpiceJet will operate 6-flights-a-week between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport and Bhavnagar Airport & between Pune International Airport and Bhavnagar Airport.

The flights on Pune-Bhavnagar-Pune route will run with the following schedule:

  • Pune-Bhavnagar
  • Departure time: 07:55
  • Arrival time: 09:05
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
  • Flight number: SG1079
  • Frequency: Daily except Saturdays
  • Bhavnagar-Pune
  • Departure time: 14:45
  • Arrival time: 16:00
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Flight number: SG1080
  • Frequency: Daily except Saturdays

The flights on Bhavnagar-Mumbai-Bhavnagar route will operate with the following schedule:

  • Bhavnagar-Mumbai
  • Departure time: 09:50
  • Arrival time: 10:55
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 05 minutes
  • Flight number: SG1081
  • Frequency: Daily except Saturdays
  • Mumbai-Bhavnagar
  • Departure time: 13:05
  • Arrival time: 14:10
  • Flight time: 1 hour and 05 minutes
  • Flight number: SG1082
  • Frequency: Daily except Saturdays

Flights will be operated by Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 aircraft featuring standard Economy Class seats.

Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Commercial Officer, SpiceJet, said:

We are delighted to introduce new flights under UDAN and on un-served sectors. Our new connections between major cities of Gujarat and Maharashtra are part of our steady network expansion. We look forward to adding more destinations to the flight map of the country and contribute to the growth of travel and tourism.

Bhavnagar’s luck with air service

Before SpiceJet started flights to Bhavnagar in 2021 (which it eventually ended in March 2022), Bhavnagar had a single daily flight to Mumbai, which was operated by Alliance Air.

However, as Alliance Air started flights to Keshod in Gujarat (another RCS route), it dropped Bhavnagar in summer season 2022. On the other hand, SpiceJet also stoped flying to the city in March 2022. So, Bhavnagar which at one time had twice daily flights to Mumbai, got off the aviation map.

With SpiceJet returning to the city, things are becoming normal. However, the route to Pune is a doubtful one and it remains to be seen how long does the airline keep flying between Bhavnagar and Pune.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet recently launched flights between Delhi and Porbandar, and also expanded from Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

Featured image by Planespotters

What do you think of SpiceJet returning to Bhavnagar with flights from Mumbai and Pune? Let me know in the comments section below.

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