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IndiGo to have its largest ever station launch at Goa’s new international airport

IndiGo has announced that it will have its largest ever station launch at Goa’s new international airport.

First ever to start operations at the new airport

New Goa International Airport, popularly known as MOPA Airport, will begin operations on 5th January 2023. On the same day, India’s largest domestic carrier with over 1600 daily flights – IndiGo – will commence flights from the new airport in North Goa.

The airline will connect the new airport with 8 cities with 12 daily flights, totalling 84-weekly flights. Flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune will start on the launch day itself while flights to Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Hyderabad will be added a day later (6th January 2023). See the full launch schedule below:

Photo: IndiGo

IndiGo will continue its operations at Goa’s Dabolim airport in South Goa. The airline says that it is introducing these new flights “to cater to the increasing demand and will improve direct connectivity to North Goa”.

We are very excited to announce our largest ever new station launch with new direct connections from the New Goa International Airport in Mopa, North Goa. It’s momentous for us at IndiGo to have such massive opening and it speaks of our ambition and ability to provide connectivity to our customers and the nation in the best possible way.

said Pieter Elbers, Chief Executive Officer, IndiGo.

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North Goa has some of the most popular tourist attractions and generally derives more traffic than any other region in the state. From scenic beaches to breathtaking forts and glamourous casinos and night clubs, Goa certainly is one of the tourist hubs of India. Tourist destinations like the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Aguada Fort, Immaculate Conception Church, Chapora Fort, Sinquerim Beach, Anjuna Beach, Calangute Beach Harvalem waterfalls, Morjim, Club Titos, Club Cubana, Candolim Beach Goa Safari Adventure Café Mambos are some of the most well-known attractions that are widely visited by tourist from and outside the country.

Residents of Goa will also be able to utilize these new services to fly directly to many large cities across India and utilize IndiGo’s comprehensive network at its hubs to connect onward to its entire network spanning more than 100 destinations.

First ever city to have two airports

With New Goa International Airport, Goa will become the first city in India to have two operational airports (well, technically Goa is a state but it will become the first city/state in the country to have two operational airports this much nearby).

New Goa International Airport will be operated by GMR, the same group which operates Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.

There are many challenges with Goa’s current airport at Dabolim, something which has led to the development of this new airport. Dabolim Airport is a Naval enclave, meaning that Naval operations are prioritised over commercial operations. This also means that operating hours are limited and the airport is not available 24×7.

The other challenge that the airport has had to face is that there is very limited space to expand the passenger facilities, leading to congestion at peak hours. This meant that airlines were unable to add capacity during peak travel seasons, thus hurting tourism in the state.

With the addition of this new airport, the traffic will be divided. However, it’s not all good. The new airport is located in North Goa and all the luxury resorts are located in Southern part of the state, meaning that it will be a long track to/from the airport for those staying in those luxury resorts. But those staying in North Goa will certainly not have a problem.

Will flight prices be similar for both airports?

As aforementioned, this will be the first instance where the same geographical area will have two operational airports. So the question that comes to my mind is whether the flight prices will be similar to both the airports or will there be a preference given to either of the airports when it comes to setting prices for the flights? It remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen whether tourists will prefer the new airport over the old airport for its updated facilities while loosing out on the convenience of the location.

The operationalisation of New Goa International Airport will be a good example of how a Indian city will handle two airports simultaneously, providing some insights for the upcoming Noida International Airport and Navi Mumbai International Airport, which will be operated simultaneously with Delhi and Mumbai’s existing airports respectively.

Meanwhile, IndiGo recently announced that it is now offering 19 new connecting flights to Portugal and Switzerland in partnership with Turkish Airlines.

Featured image by JetPhotos/Sanskar Nawani

What do you think of IndiGo having its largest ever station launch at New Goa International Airport? Do you think airlines will be willing to shift operations (partially if not entirely) to the new airport? Let me know in the comments section below.

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