Airlines are operating extra flights, and charter operators are preparing to ferry the rich and famous to Ahmedabad in over 50 flights as the city hosts the men’s World Cup cricket final between India and Australia on Sunday.

On average, Ahmedabad airport handles 230 flights daily, but over the next two days, it is expected to see a significant rush of both scheduled and non-scheduled flights. Airlines including Akasa, IndiGo, SpiceJet, and Vistara are expected to operate around 20 additional flights on Saturday and Sunday to cater to travel demand. Airfares to Ahmedabad over the weekend are six to eight times higher than the normal rate, according to Yatra Online.

Charter rush

Ahmedabad airport has already received requests for over 50 charter flights (a majority of them from Mumbai) and is anticipating requests for another 20 additional flights.

“I have been flooded with customer calls for the past two days. Both our planes — a Beechcraft and a Cessna — were booked for Ahmedabad a fortnight ago. I am trying to arrange more aircraft as there is huge demand, but availability is difficult. State elections are on, and charter operators have committed their machines for election campaign tours,” said Mandar Bharde, managing director of MAB Aviation Pvt. Ltd., a charter operator.

“There is a tremendous demand for travel for Sunday’s final, and I expect a few charters to bring fans from overseas as well. Two of our Falcon aircraft are booked for Ahmedabad,” said Rajan Mehra, CEO of Club One Air.

Ahmedabad airport has 15 bays for night parking of aircraft, of which six are reserved for business jets. However, given the rush, the airport has asked charter operators to drop off the guests and fly out the aircraft to other cities. Many jets are expected to return to Mumbai.

In a statement, Ahmedabad airport said it is ready to accommodate all the cricket fans coming for the final match in Ahmedabad.

Airport readiness

“Ensuring top priority for scheduled flights and passenger convenience, we are requesting all our passengers travelling through the airport to allocate additional time for travel-related formalities and mandatory security protocols. Also, all the teams in the terminal and landside are kept on standby with dynamic resource allocation based on passenger load to ensure smooth transit through the airport,” an airport spokesperson said.

The airport said it has prepared an SOP for non-standard parking of aircraft in case demand for night parking exceeds the availability of stands for standard parking.

It added that airspace in Ahmedabad will be shut for 45 minutes from 1.25 pm to 2.10 pm because of an air display by the Indian Air Force.