The first direct flight to connect Shillong with New Delhi will take off on December 21, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said today.
December 21 also happens to be the day on which Meghalaya will open up to tourists from outside the state.
“The airline has confirmed and we are hopeful that the flights will start on December 21,” Sangma told reporters here. “We will have another flight on December 23. We will then ensure that at least once or up to twice a week flights from Delhi to Shillong will be operational.”
Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Umroi Airport had flights only up to Kolkata. The Delhi-Umroi flights will be on aircraft that are bigger than the ones used to serve the existing route to Kolkata, but still with fewer than 100 seats, Sangma said.
According to earlier reports, Flybig will use 72-seat ATR aircraft on the route.
Direct flights between the state and national capitals have been long awaited, with several endeavours to this effect not having taken off in the past despite efforts by the state government and Union Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also informed that the entry-exit checkpoint in Umling, Ri-Bhoi, will be inaugurated on December 16. Work on the prefabricated structure is already in place and the only holdup was training of staff.