AirAsia has announced it is stepping up its Indian coverage with the launch of a new service from Thai capital, Bangkok to the holy city of Gaya in the northeast Indian state of Bihar.
Gaya is a popular destination for religious tourists, who head to the region which has become famous not only as a centre for Buddhism but also renowned as the location of Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and first public sermon.
“New pilgrims and repeat visitors to the sacred destination can now easily follow in the footsteps of the Lord Buddha”
Discussing why the flights had been introduced Santisuk Klongchaiya, CEO of Thai AirAsia, said: “The new route now offers direct access for devout Buddhists or members of the Buddhist clergy who previously had to fly from Bangkok to Indian cities such as Kolkata and connect via domestic flight or vehicle to Gaya.
Both new pilgrims and repeat visitors to the sacred destination can now easily follow in the footsteps of the Lord Buddha and witness where he achieved enlightenment, held his first sermon and reached nirvana.
“Those who have yet had the opportunity to trace the origins of Buddhism to its four holy sites can rejoice as they can now directly journey to a city sure to inspire them to even deeper faith. The trip is a must for any Buddhist and sure to bring great merit,” Santisuk added.
This move is well timed with Indian tourism boards endeavors to grow Buddhist tourism in India and attract Buddhist followers from various parts of Asia. Members of AirAsia ‘s loyalty scheme will be able to take advantage of a special discounted price on the route of THB 3,990 per trip (USD122.60), between 3 December 2018 and 29 March 2019.