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Last Updated On: 8/14/2012
After long years of being ignored, smaller Indian cities are getting the international 'recognition' and attention they crave from the airlines.
 
Old fogies will remember that for many years international flights were mostly the preserve of the four large metros - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata.
 
Indians in other parts would have to take a train or local Indian Airlines flight to one of these metros to board their international flights.
 
The Gulf boom in the 1980s put Trivandrum and Kochi in Kerala on the 'international' map to cater to the thousands of Malayalees working in the Middle East.
 
Then Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Amritsar and Ahmedabad were added to the 'international' map coinciding with the IT boom and the growth of Punjabi and Gujarati diaspora in the West.
 
Of late, we're frequently coming across reports of more small Indian cities being directly connected to international destinations.
 
Jut the other day there were media reports that SilkAir plans to start a direct flight from Singapore to the South Indian city of Visakhapatnam from October 1, 2012.
 
SilkAir already flies to tier-2 Indian cities like Coimbatore, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
 
A few weeks back, Middle Eastern airline Air Arabia expanded its flights to the central Indian city of Nagpur to four flights a week.
 
Besides serving large metros like Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi, Air Arabia also flies to tier-2 cities like Jaipur, Kochi, Coimbatore, Thiruvanathapuram and Kozhikode.
 
Singapore's other low fare airline Tiger Airways also serves smaller Indian cities like Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram and Tiruchirappalli and is expanding its South Indian footprint.
 
International connectivity to smaller Indian cities is a good thing for both passengers and businesses.
 
It eliminates the hassles of connecting flights for travelers and helps to establish smaller Indian towns and cities as gateways of commerce.

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