Friday, December 30, 2016

Pondicherry airport slated to restart operations Jan 17

The Government of Pondicherry (also known as Puducherry) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Union Government to have Pondicherry airport operational by January 2017 The Hindu has reported. The airport is slated to launch with a Bangalore Int'l to Pondicherry via Tiruchirapally service using a 70-seater turboprop. The reopening had been mooted earlier in December when the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) submitted a proposal to the Pondicherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy.

Pondicherry airport stopped operations in October 2015 over government subsidy disputes. At the time, regional carrier Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l) was operating flights to Bangalore 6x weekly using a 48-seater ATR 42-320, but withdrew when it could not reach an agreement with the local government as part of its Viability Gap Funding scheme. Other airlines which have previously served Pondicherry include SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) – which withdrew in 2014 after a year of operations – and Air Pegasus (OP, Bangalore Int'l). Following Alliance Air's withdrawal, the government invited expressions of interest from airlines to provide services to the airport.
30/12/16 ch-aviation
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