On 25 November 2016, Sukhbir Singh Badal, deputy chief minister of Punjab, announced that Alliance Air would begin flights between Bathinda and Delhi on 11 December. The announcement came one week after talks between Air India and local officials regarding the viability of flights to Bathinda. The flights began operating three times a week with the ATR 72-600. A ceremony was held to inaugurate the terminal and the Delhi flights. The state deputy chief minister; Pusapati Ashok Gajapati Raju, the union civil aviation minister; and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a member of parliament from Bathinda, were among those in attendance.
The district derives its name from the district headquarters town of Bathinda, which is of great antiquity. According to Khalifa Muhammad Hassan, author of History of Patiala, its ancient name was Bikramgarh. According to raverty, Bathinda was known as Tabarhindh (Labb-ut-Twarikh). According to Ibn Batuta it was known as Batrind. The earliest mention of Tabarhindh occurs in the “Jami-Ul-Hakayat” written about 607 Hijri or 1211 AD. According to “Ainai-Barar Bans” Bathinda was built by Bhati Rao, son of Bal Band, who became ruler of Punjab in 336 Bikrami Sambat. He also founded Bhatner. It was also called Whatinda and Bitunda which finally become known as Bhatinda. But its name was changed to Bathinda on the authority of Survey of India to conform to the phonetical expression as locally pronounced. In recent times the town was conquered by Maharaja Ala Singh (near about 1754 AD) and since then it followed the history of erstwhile princely state of Patiala. With the dawn of indendence and merger of Patiala and East Punjab States into a division styled at PEPSU, Bathinda become full fledged district.