All eyes on Jamnagar for Anant Ambani’s pre-wedding bash

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All eyes on Jamnagar for Anant Ambani’s pre-wedding bash

| Updated: March 2, 2024 14:58

Jamnagar might not top your list as a holiday destination. A quick Google search reveals that the place is acclaimed for gold embroidery and brass items. But that alone doesn’t define Jamnagar. The city is proud of having a fully integrated petroleum refinery at the Jamnagar Complex. Yet the city wasn’t quite a happening place until a pre-wedding bash there put it in the spotlight.

The airport, essentially a civil enclave in an Indian Air Force base without parking spaces, has been handling approximately 400 charter flights. Reason? Grand celebrations have begun ahead of the July wedding of the youngest son of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, Anant, with fiancée Radhika Merchant.  

The charter planes are being parked at nearby airports such as Rajkot, Porbandar, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. Yesterday, Jamnagar Airport was expected to manage 140 charter flight movements (70 departures plus 70 arrivals), with roughly 50% of the planes coming from abroad.

The 400-odd charter flights will be transporting eminent personalities from across the world. Sachin Tendulkar, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Fink, Gautam Adani, N Chandrasekaran, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Ajay Piramal comprise some of the guests who landed in this coastal city, some 300 km away from Gandhinagar, Gujarat’s capital.   

To handle the high demand for air travel, ground handling and security personnel had to be reinforced, airport director Dhananjay Kumar Singh told Business Standard. The authorities made a checklist, ranging from finishing the remodelling and beautification work to erecting a makeshift counter for immigration, customs, and quarantine—all within the last 45 days.  

SpiceJet has transported special cuisine for the VVIPs on two cargo flights from Dubai to Jamnagar. To handle the unusually high volume of passengers, the Jamnagar airport has set up a temporary CIQ (customs, immigration, and quarantine) facility. The CIQ, formed on February 25, is in effect until March 6. Singh told the media house that the ground handling agencies, such as AI Airport Services Limited (AIASL), had brought in 100 personnel from other airports, including Ahmedabad and Mumbai, to manage the traffic. 

The AAI, which has 10 to 15 people for air traffic control (ATC) services, has engaged more staff. The Gujarat government provides security workers (policemen) to handle security at the Jamnagar airport in place of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). Singh said that the state government has increased the number of security personnel at this airport from the usual 35.

It is fair to say that Gujarat will be witnessing festivities of a rare kind.

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