New Delhi: Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Wednesday announced that the government will begin a direct flight between Delhi and Kushinagar. Scindia was addressing an event in Kushinagar where an international airport was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Union minister said that the Delhi-Kushinagar direct flight will begin from November 26 and operate four days a week. The initial flights will be operated by budget airlines SpiceJet. He further said that the airport will also have direct flights from Mumbai and Kolkata soon. Others present at the event included Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and several dignitaries. The airport was inaugurated with the first flight arriving from Sri Lanka that included a delegation led by the island nation's minister Namal Rajapaksa, son of PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, comprising around 100 senior Buddhist monks, four state ministers and other senior officials on the auspicious occasion of Vap Poya Day.
The airport has been built at an estimated cost of ₹260 crore and the new terminal building is spread across 3,600 square metres. It has been developed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI) in association with the Uttar Pradesh government. The Kushinagar International Airport is the ninth airport in Uttar Pradesh, located at one of the major Buddhist pilgrimage centres around the world where Lord Buddha attained Mahaparinirvana.