Union Civil Aviation Minister, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia along with Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh and Civil Aviation Secretary Rajeev Bansal virtually flagged off six routes expanding the aerial connectivity of North East region.
The routes commencing operations from today are Kolkata – Guwahati, Guwahati – Aizawl, Aizawl – Shillong, Shillong – Aizawl, Aizawl – Guwahati, and Guwahati – Kolkata.
Alliance Air will operate the flight through its ATR aircraft.
The Aizawl – Shillong flight will operate four days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The flight will start operation from tomorrow.
Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, along with other senior officials of the Civil Aviation Ministry was also present at the ceremony held at the office of the ministry.
“Today’s flight launch has expanded the aerial connectivity of the North East by connecting multiple states hitherto not connected via flights. The flight connectivity on these routes has been a long-pending demand of the natives of the regions. Eastern India tempts tourists with wonderful verdant valleys, hilly streams, lush green forests, vast tea gardens, snow capped mountain peaks, mighty rivers, tribal culture, its colourful fairs and festivals. These flights will open a seamless gateway and smooth aerial access option for nature lovers, travellers, tourists etc,” Scindia said at the launch.
“Shillong is surrounded by hills from all sides. The city is famous for the presence of many well-reputed educational institutions. It is the hub of education for the entire North East. Apart from being the beauty and education centre, Shillong also acts as the gateway to Meghalaya, the State famous for heavy rainfall, caves, tallest waterfalls, beautiful landscapes, and its rich heritage and culture. Aizawl is known as the home of the highlanders and is the seat of a rich tribal cultural extravaganza and is famous for its handicrafts. The town is blessed with exotic natural beauty,” he added.
According to Scindia, with these new flights, travellers from Guwahati, Aizawl and Shillong will get multiple options for onward connectivity to the rest of the country.
He also said that the flight would establish seamless connectivity across the entire North East region by connecting four cities with one flight.
The Civil Aviation Minister informed that under the Udan scheme, cities that had no mention on the aviation map of the country have been connected by air.
“We have already started 60 airports, and 387 routes, out of which 100 routes are awarded in the North East alone, and 50 are already operational. Moreover, in 2014, only six airports were operational in the North East. Now we have grown to 15 airports in a short span of seven years. Therefore, this further highlights the due importance of the North-Eastern states for this government,” Scindia added.
He also said that in addition to this, under the Krishi Udan Yojna, the Civil Aviation Ministry has identified 16 airports to enhance the export opportunities of the North East region establishing dual benefits of enhancement of cargo movements and exports.