Air India Express announces, then pauses, operations from Ghaziabad’s Hindon Airport effective August 2024

One of the many announcements on the sidelines of the CAPA Indian Aviation Summit 2024, which just concluded this past week in Delhi, was the interesting intentions of Air India Express. The no-frills subsidiary of Air India will become the first carrier operating in the Delhi NCR region to operate out of two airports.

Air India Express announces the launch of flights from Hindon Airport.

Air India Express announced that it will expand its network in the National Capital Region (NCR) by operating 28 weekly direct flights connecting Hindon (Ghaziabad) with Bengaluru, Goa, and Kolkata. These flights will be over and above the operations from the IGI Airport, Delhi. Flight operations will commence on August 1, 2024.

an airplane on a runway

Air India Express expects that their operations out of Hindon Airport will help them garner those who travel from other cities in Western UP, Uttarakhand and Haryana, such as Noida, Alipur, Agra, Baghpat, Bulandshahr, Dadri, Dasna, Dehradun, Faridnagar, Hapur, Haridwar, Khekra, Loni, Meerut, Modinagar, Muradnagar, Noida, Nangloi Jat,  Pilkhuwa, Panipat, Rishikesh, Saharanpur, and Sonipat.

Air India Express will operate two daily direct flights from Bengaluru, to be launched on August 1, 2024.

a table with numbers and letters

Subsequently, flights from Kolkata and Goa Mopa to Hindon will be launched on August 15, 2024.

a table with numbers and time

While yet to be announced, a flight operation between Chennai and Hindon also appeared on August 20, 2024.

Talking about the launch, Aloke Singh, the Managing Director of Air India Express, said,

 Our network expansion is focussed on enhancing connectivity across the rapidly growing domestic and short-haul international market, particularly the new and underserved routes. The maturity and size of major metropolitan areas in India can support secondary airports, spreading the benefits of air connectivity and further stimulating growth. We believe the launch of our flights from Hindon is a pioneering effort towards this direction. It will benefit travellers from an extended catchment area, even beyond Delhi NCR, including Western Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal and Haryana. The new services will complement our operations from the primary airport serving Delhi NCR, providing convenient options.

Where is Hindon Airport?

Hindon has been a critical Air Force base for the Indian Air Force, being the primary airbase around Delhi. The airbase is located in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, towards the eastern side of Delhi (compared to the Indira Gandhi Airport, which is in the South West). The airbase got a civil terminal only in 2019 when growing at the IGI Airport became a problem.

Hindon Airport came to be to add more regional air connectivity flights under the RCS scheme, and currently, only flybig and Star Air operate from this airport. flybig operates their Twin Otters to Bathinda, Ludhiana and Dehradun, while Star Air operates to Nanded, Kishangarh and Adampur.

It is amusing that Air India Express gets to launch flights from here because there exists an agreement between Delhi International Airport Limited and the Government of India that prohibits the operation of commercial flights within a 150-kilometre radius of DEL. There was a carveout for the regional connectivity scheme flights, which came through. However, even that was supposed to lapse when the IGI expansion was completed (technically, it is still ongoing). This comes close with the launch of the Jewar Airport in the coming months, so is this a launch intended for the long run, or to start accumulating experience and move to Jewar when the airport goes live? We don’t know yet.

I see the instant appeal for this airport to those who live in East Delhi, Noida and other eastern suburbs of Delhi to commute between Delhi and Bengaluru.

While the flights were announced by Air India Express via a press release and an announcement at the CIAS24, shortly after, over the weekend, the flights were removed and are no longer bookable. No reasons were given by the airline for the pause of the bookings.


Air India Express announced the launch of flights from Hindon to Bengaluru, Goa and Kolkata in August 2024 with a double daily on BLR and a single flight to Goa and Kolkata in the coming days. However, the flights seem to have been pulled a day later. The launch of these flights will make Air India Express the first carrier to have a dual operation in Delhi NCR.

What do you think about the appeal of an airport at Hindon, however small, for a few flights a day?

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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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