Lakshadweep, India’s smallest Union Territory, has witnessed a spike in tourism demand after Prime Minister Modi visited the island cluster on January 5 and praised its potential for beach tourism. Alliance Air, the only Indian airline that operates to Lakshadweep, has responded by adding extra flights to Kochi-Agatti-Kochi route on Sundays and Wednesdays, according to a senior official.
The airline, which runs daily flights between Kochi in Kerala and Agatti island, where Lakshadweep’s regional airport is located, has been operating at full capacity and has sold out all tickets till March. The official said that the airline has been receiving many queries on phone and social media regarding tickets and may increase the frequency of flights if needed.
Another Indian airline, SpiceJet, has also announced its plans to launch flights to Lakshadweep soon. The airline’s CEO, Ajay Singh, said that SpiceJet has exclusive rights under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for Lakshadweep and will start operations in the near future.
Meanwhile, travel portals have reported a record number of queries for Lakshadweep, indicating a growing interest among tourists to explore the pristine islands.
However, not everyone was happy with PM Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep. Maldivian Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Mariyam Shiuna, posted a mocking and disrespectful tweet about PM Modi’s visit, which she later deleted. The tweet sparked outrage on social media, with many users calling for #BoycottMaldives and expressing their support for Lakshadweep’s tourism development. Some prominent Indian celebrities and film stars also joined the campaign and urged people to visit Lakshadweep instead of Maldives.