Air flights between Shimla and Delhi resumed today after a gap of almost two years. Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while connecting virtually from village Bagsiad of Seraj Assembly Constituency in Mandi district, launched regular flights by flagging off the new ATR-42-600 aircraft of Alliance Air from Shimla Airport at Jubbarhatti today morning. Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, General VK Singh also participated in the program through virtual medium from Delhi.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that connectivity remains a big challenge in a hilly state like Himachal Pradesh and the state government was making constant efforts to increase the air connectivity in the state. He said that due to technical reasons, flights were not able to operate at Shimla airport for almost two years.
Chief Minister said that with the efforts of the State Government and the support of the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, Alliance Air flights between Shimla and Delhi would now be operated seven days a week. This would go a long way in boosting the tourism activities in the state, he added.
Chief Minister said that ATR-42-600 aircraft of Alliance Air would now be able to carry 48 passengers from Delhi to Shimla, where as the maximum strength of passengers from Shimla to Delhi flight would be 24. He said that 50 percent of the seats on these flights would have a subsidized fare of Rs. 2480 only, under the 'UDAN' scheme launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The fare for other seats would be determined by the company itself, added the Chief Minister. Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Union MoS for Civil Aviation General V.K. Singh for resuming the flights with bigger aircraft from Shimla airport, the Chief Minister said that these air services would boost the tourism in the state.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the state government had been making all out efforts to increase air connectivity in the state. He said that various official formalities regarding the proposed International Green Field Airport at Mandi were being completed rapidly and on priority basis.
He said that the sentiments of the people of Mandi were attached to this proposed airport and the state government was trying its best to turn this dream project into reality.Speaking on the occasion, the Union MoS for Civil Aviation, General VK Singh said that the demand for resumption of air flights between Shimla and Delhi was being made for a long time.
He said that Alliance Air's new ATR-42-600 would now enable more passenger movement and these flights would be operated throughout week.MP and Himachal Pradesh BJP President Suresh Kashyap, Chief Secretary R.D. Dhiman, Union Civil Aviation Secretary Rajiv Bansal, Additional Secretary Usha and Secretary HP Tourism Devesh Kumar also participated virtually in this program. Where as Director HP Tourism Amit Kashyap and other senior officers of the department and Airport Authority were present at the Jubbarhatti Airport itself.