Vice President Venkaiah Naidu at the launch of the Vijaywada-Singapore direct flight.
Vijayawada entered the international aviation map Tuesday after its maiden Indigo flight took off for Singapore from the airport at Gannavaram. The inaugural flight was flagged off by Vice President in the presence of Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.
"This is only a beginning and Vijayawada will have more international flights in the near future, Mr Naidu said on the occasion.
The new air connectivity between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore is expected to expand India's reach in south-east Asia. Andhra Pradesh is expected to become an aviation gateway between the two prospering regions. It would also boost tourism, he added.
He asked state government to partner with the Centre in a true 'Team India spirit' for building a prosperous and inclusive 'New India'
The Andhra Pradesh government set aside a sum of Rs 18.35 crore as viability gap fund for six months to operate the 180-seater Vijayawada-Singapore non-stop flight.
The Indigo flight from Singapore landed at Vijayawada airport at 4.15 pm, carrying about 150 passengers. The Vijayawada-Singapore flight had over 80 passengers flying to the City-State from Andhra Pradesh's capital region Amaravati.
The Vijayawada-Singapore return flights will be operated on Tuesday and Thursday every week.
The 35,000 sq m, Rs 611 crore building will have a peak passenger handling capacity of 1200 with 24 check-in counters.