Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Six new flights to SE Asian countries from Guwahati soon

Guwahati: Dhaka, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are among six destinations to be connected with Guwahati soon under the international Udaan scheme.

The northeastern states have no international flights at present. State transport minister Chandra Mohan Patowary told the media here on Monday that under the International Udaan Scheme, six Southeast Asian countries, including Yangon (Myanmar) and Malaysia, will be connected with Guwahati.

“Our government gave a commitment of Rs 100 crore to the Centre for the viability gap funding. We have already released Rs 10.9 crore and bidding to select the operators has also been done. In the meantime, Covid hit the country. As and when international air connectivity fully resumes, we are expecting to start the new flights,” said Patowary.

The first flight under the international version of Udaan in India was launched between Guwahati and Dhaka on July 1, 2019 but its operation was put on hold a few months later in the same year due to lack of adequate passengers.

Suspension of flight operations between Guwahati and Bangkok from January 2020 came as another major setback for the government’s plan to transform the city into a travel hub in southeast Asia.

The last international commercial flight through the northeast was for Paro-Guwahati- Singapore. Amid Covid scare it was suspended on March 20 last year.

Sources at the Airports Authority of India (AAI) NE headquarters said they are waiting for the flight schedule and intimation about the commencement date of the international flights.

“Imphal and Agartala have the potential to connect international destinations,” they added.

09/11/21 Kangkan Kalita/Times of India

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