Ayodhya Airport ready for operations: IndiGo and Air India Express line up to launch operations

In what could be the last new airport activated in 2023, Ayodhya will see a new airport start flight operations on December 30, 2023. The airport, assigned IATA code AYJ, has been under construction since 2022. In December 2023, the airport saw its various flight systems being tested for readiness, with an Indian Air Force aircraft making a landing.

Ayodhya Airport will be inaugurated on December 30, 2023.

The Ayodhya Airport was officially named Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram International Airport. The airport is due to be inaugurated on December 30, 2023. The original airstrip of the airport was just enough to handle small planes. However, there has been land acquisition, and now the airport can also take a 737/A320 family aircraft. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation granted an aerodrome licence for the Ayodhya Airport, which will see its inaugural flight on December 30.

In the first phase, Terminal 1 will be inaugurated. The airport will be able to accommodate 300 passengers during peak hours and handle 600,000 passengers annually. It will have an apron suitable for parking four Airbus A320-type aircraft.

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Ayodhya Airport render (courtesy AAI)

The addition of the AYJ airport will see the clustering of one more airport between Lucknow and Gorakhpur and is interesting to see the evolution of traffic. Earlier on, most Kanpur and Gorakhpur residents travelled to Lucknow to fly out. Gorakhpur airport, a military conclave due to an airbase, has picked up over the past ten years, with IndiGo, Alliance Air and SpiceJet operating to multiple airports. Kanpur has also seen the addition of flights by IndiGo. Kushinagar, inaugurated in 2021, used to see a solitary SpiceJet flight operated with a Q400, which was also pulled.

To travel to Ayodhya, people used to fly to Lucknow and make the road trip there. However, an airport of its own will allow the tourism economy to flourish in Ayodhya as reduced friction will enable people to travel to Ayodhya directly. All the major hotel chains are also working on hotel projects in Ayodhya.

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Ayodhya sees a rush of airlines to operate flights.

IndiGo will launch flights from Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad to Ayodhya.

The inaugural flight will land in Ayodhya on December 30, 2023. Subsequently, commercial operations for a direct flight will commence between Delhi and Ayodhya on January 06, 2024, followed by tri-weekly flights between Ahmedabad and Ayodhya on January 11, 2024. Ayodhya will be the 86th domestic station for IndiGo.

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IndiGo will subsequently launch direct flights between Mumbai and Ayodhya, effective January 15, 2024. The schedule for this flight is as follows.

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Air India Express will launch flights from Mumbai, Delhi, and Ahmedabad to Ayodhya.

Air India Express has also announced the commencement of services from Ayodhya, the airline’s 45th destination and third operational sector in Uttar Pradesh. Starting December 30, the airline will operate direct flights to Delhi.

The inaugural flight IX 2789 on December 30, 2023, is scheduled to depart from Delhi at 11.00 hrs. and land in Ayodhya at 12.20 Hrs. From Ayodhya, IX 1769 is expected to leave for Delhi at 12.50 hrs. and arrive at 14.10 hrs. The schedule of daily flights, which will launch on January 16, 2024, is as follows.

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Zoom Air also wants Ayodhya operations.

Zoom Air, a CRJ operator that launched operations in 2017 but was grounded in 2020 due to the pandemic, has been recently granted an Air Operators’ Permit again. This will enable the airline to relaunch flights.

Rumour has it that the airline wants to launch operations to Ayodhya. It has applied for rights to fly on a Delhi – Ayodhya – Lucknow – Ayodhya – Delhi rotation with its 50-seater CRJ aircraft; if granted, this will be the launch route of the resurrected airline.


Ayodhya Airport will be inaugurated on December 30, 2023, with IndiGo and Air India Express operating flights to the airport. Commercial operations will also start in early January 2024 for both of these airlines.

What do you think of the launch of Ayodhya Airport?

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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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