Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said today that he has launched 44 new flights from Madhya Pradesh in the past 35 days. “Flights will depart from Jabalpur to Mumbai, Pune, Surat, Hyderabad and Kolkata today. Flights will start from Jabalpur to Delhi and Indore from August 20,” he told ANI news agency.
Eight of these flights would fall under the UDAN scheme, which focuses on connecting smaller airports to metros and other cities, he had previously said. The government has set a target to operationalize 100 unmanned and underserved airports under the UDAN scheme, Mr Scindia’s predecessor Hardeep Puri had said.
Mr Scindia – who joined the BJP in March last year after a 19-year career in Congress – was awarded the civil aviation portfolio last month in the latest restructuring of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers. The portfolio was once managed by his father, Madhavrao Scindia.
During his visit to Indore to the media, the Rajya Sabha member from Madhya Pradesh said: “I am committed and it will be my pursuit to advance India in the civil aviation sector under the leadership of the Prime Minister”.
“I want to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Interior Minister Amit Shah and BJP President JP Nadda for believing in me, I am ready to serve the people,” he added.
Mr Scindia held the Ministry of Trade and Industry in the government of the UPA-II between 2009 and 2012. Between 2012 and 2014 he was in charge of the Ministry of Energy.
Calming after Congress’ defeat in the 2019 general election, Scindia joined the BJP in March 2020 with 22 loyalists, overthrowing the state’s Kamal Nath government.
He was later awarded a Rajya Sabha seat by the BJP.
His elevation to government now poses a challenge. It is a difficult time for the aviation sector, given the travel restrictions caused by Covid. The hospitality and travel industries have stalled and airlines are struggling to survive as the number of flights around the world has drastically declined.