Air Connectivity In Northeast: First Direct Flight Operations Flagged-Off Between Imphal And Shillong Under UDAN Scheme
The first direct flight operations between Imphal (Manipur) and Shillong (Meghalaya) was flagged off on Tuesday (3 August) under the RCS-UDAN (Regional Connectivity Scheme - Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) of the government.
The operationalisation of this route fulfills the objectives of the government to establish strong aerial connectivity in priority areas of NorthEast India, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement.
According to the ministry, the aerial connectivity between the capital cities of Manipur and Meghalaya has been a long-awaited demand of the people of the region.
Due to the non-availability of any direct mode of transportation, people were compelled to cover a long 12-hour journey by road to reach Shillong from Imphal or they had to take a flight to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, then bus service to reach Shillong.
The completion of the entire journey used to take more than one day to reach Shillong from Imphal or vice-versa, it added.
Now, natives can easily fly between the two cities by opting for a flight of just 60 mins from Imphal to Shillong and 75 minutes from Shillong to Imphal, the ministry said.
Shillong is the second city to be connected with Imphal under the UDAN scheme.
The Indigo airlines was awarded the Imphal-Shillong route during the UDAN 4 bidding process, it said.
The airlines are being provided Viability Gap Funding (VGF) under the UDAN scheme to keep the fares affordable and accessible for the common people.
Indigo will be operating four flights in a week and will deploy its 78-seater ATR 72 aircraft. Currently, 66 UDAN routes are operational by Indigo airlines.
Till date, 361 routes and 59 airports (including five heliports and two water aerodromes) have been operationalized under the UDAN scheme.
The scheme is envisaged to establish strong aerial connectivity in all states and UTs of the country which were not connected till now, laying the foundation of a new regional segment in India’s aviation market.
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