After the launch of three flights connecting five cities in the Northeast, Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday announced that two more international routes will soon be operational under the regional air connectivity project.
According to a press release, Scindia and Minister of State for Civil Aviation General (Retd) V K Singh officially launched three flights connecting five cities in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram.
Alliance Air’s flight services connecting the five states were virtually shut down by the minister on Sunday.
While services on the Shillong-Lilabari-Shillong route will start on October 31, the flights connecting Imphal-Aizawl-Imphal and Lilabari-Ziro-Lilabari started operations on Sunday.
These flights were launched under the UDAN regional air connectivity programme.
Under the international UDAN programme, two new routes will be commissioned: Agartala-Chittagong-Agartala and Imphal-Mandalay-Imphal. According to Scindia, this will increase the degree of international air connectivity in the northeastern states.
Chittagong is in Bangladesh and Mandalay is in Myanmar.
He added that seven airports have been constructed in the region in the last eight years and that the Union Government has given special priority to the air connectivity of the North Eastern region.
Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Manipur will all benefit from improved air connectivity as a result of the new services, said Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who spoke at the virtual event.
“I consider the launch of these air services not only as an expansion of airline lines, but above all as a futuristic gesture that will mean great progress in promoting people-to-people contacts, tourism and trade,” he said.
The Assam government has already given up 84 acres of land for the construction of the base belt and isolation bay at Lilabari, which is the gateway to a number of popular tourist attractions, he continued.
According to Sarma, flight services in the Northeast have grown by 36% in the last five years, from August 2017 to August 2022, surpassing the growth rate of the East, West, North and South zones.
Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu thanked the Center for prioritizing the development of the Northeast, especially connectivity in the region.