Pondicherry is one of my favourite towns in South India, although I must admit I last went there quite some time back, maybe 5 years or more. This little French post of yore has very good weather, good food, some good hotels as well. The trouble, it never had an airport when I used to be there. So, one had to get to Chennai (MAA), and drive from there on the scenic East Coast Road to get to Pondicherry.
Now, I was completely unaware that they were building an airport there, infact their own little tourism website states Chennai to be the closest airport. But as per Wikipedia, there has been an airport in the making here. As per the Airport Authority of India, which is incharge of building and operating the airport, the airport is now ready, and will eventually be able to handle 1 Airbus 320 size aircraft in a remote bay. Right now it can handle about 40 passengers and smaller planes. They airport code is PNY.
Spicejet is now preparing to launch a flight between Bangalore to Pondicherry on their Dash Q400 planes, and this will be the first scheduled operation at this airport which will be operational from 17 January 2013. Spicejet also intends to run connections to major metros such as Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata with this operation. Here is a look at the schedule:
Hats off to Spicejet for this route. Guess the Q400s are being put to good use after all rather than the tried and tested markets.