Modi Airways: IADF’s special charter flight from Melbourne to Sydney

Volunteers concept of Modi Airways to ferry attendees from Melbourne to Sydney for the community reception for Indian PM Narendra Modi

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If we had them coming in from Melbourne by the trainload in 2014 (remember Modi Express?), this time round it’s going to be planeloads – say hello to Modi Airways.

Australia’s Indian community is all abuzz with the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Modi Airways
(Source: IADF)

The event of the month is a community reception organised by the not-for-profit Indian Australian Diaspora Foundation (IADF), at which some 18,500 people will fill an arena to see and hear him speak, while a few thousand watch on a giant screen just outside.

The numbers are made up of people from across Australia and even New Zealand, with the largest interstate guests expected from Victoria.

Speaking to Indian Link, one of IADF’s core team members, Jay Shah said, “The concept for Modi Airways came from key members of the Modi fan club in Melbourne.”

Ashwini Sonthalia, head of Gaura Travel, was approached by the organisers to undertake this project – given they have prior experience of charter flight programs run during COVID. Their company is but one of the many service providers who are helping make this event a success.

Tickets are on sale already, Shah revealed. “Check out the website www.modiairways.com.au.”

Price is listed as $249, and clearly mentioned is the clause that the ticket is one-way only.

The special flight of Modi Airways will take off from Tullamarine Airport on 23 May at 9.00 am.

There is huge interest already, Shah revealed, and he’s expecting it to be a sell-out.

“We might have to put on more flights – there are only 180 seats on one flight….”

Dr Sachin Dahiya, another committee member, chimed in, “We are seeing a lot of excitement around the chartered flight. Since we opened it for the community more than 20 of my friends have already registered.”

Modi Airways
Modi Express was a special train service organised specially for the diaspora to travel from Melbourne to Sydney to attend Indian PM Narendra Modi’s community reception in 2014 (Source: NDTV)

There’s one other question people are asking. The Modi Express of 2014 had all the trappings of a typical train journey in India – with khaana peena (snacks) as well as chanting and singing. Will Modi Airways have similar ambience?

“Believe it or not, that’s being discussed right now,” Jay Shah laughed.

Ashwin Bora, who was one of organisers of the famous Modi Express said, “We want to do something to match the rising popularity of PM Modiji in Australia and in the world. This definitely is a testimony to his popularity within the diaspora. We are looking forward to creating another round of beautiful memories.”

Whether they come by planes, trains or automobiles, we’re expecting a full repeat of 2014, with an adoring (and chanting) crowd, a prime minister in his full oratory element, and a very curious mainstream watching closely.

Read More: PM Modi community reception: ‘Successful applicants will be notified next week’

Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni Anand Luthra
Rajni is the Editor of Indian Link.

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