Officials said a policy decision has been taken according to which airlines will now pay only 4 percent VAT on aviation fuel as compared to the 22 percent they were required to pay.

They said this will promote air travel to Agra, Lucknow, Varanasi and Allahabad in the state and it should give a push to tourism in the new arc being promoted to benefit Buddhists visiting shrines in the state.

For the Agra airport, which mainly caters to chartered flights, 18 companies had entered the fray to operate regular flights.

But only North East Flight Company was given permission and it will begin operations early November.

There is also a weekly Air India flight Agra.

Rajiv Tiwari, president of the Federation of Travel Agents of India, said, "The profile of tourism in Agra is all set to change as air travel will become affordable. The airport has enough space for parking of Boeings."

With this, Agra's tourism industry's demand for air connectivity would be met, said  tourism industry leader Rakesh Chauhan. Local hotelier Surendra Sharma welcomed the initiative.