Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, November 16
Dharamsala got connected by air with Chandigarh with Air India starting its flight between the two cities today. The flight that arrived from Chandigarh at 10.55 am was welcomed with water cannons at the Gaggal airport in Kangra district.
A 70-seater plane will fly daily between the two cities. The route is not covered under the Government of India’s regional connectivity scheme UDAN and the airfare will depend on traffic.
While the fare notified initially for the flight was Rs 1,712, a one-way ticket from Chandigarh to Dharamsala was sold at Rs 3,300.
Sources said that while the prices for Saturday, Sunday and Monday would be higher, these would cost less on weekdays.
Air India now has three flights from Gaggal, including two to Delhi.
The flight will take off from Dharamsala at 8.30 am and land at 9.30 am. It will depart from Chandigarh at 9.55 am and land in Dharamsala at 10.55 am the same day.
The hotel and tourism industry of Dharamsala has welcomed the initiative.
Ashwani Bamba, president of the Hotel Association of Dharamsala, said they had been demanding air connectivity with Chandigarh for a long time. It would help boost tourist inflow from Punjab and Haryana. A car drive from Chandigarh to Dharamsala took around six hours. The flight reduced the distance to just one hour, he asserted.
Sanjeev Gandhi, general secretary, said the airfares should stay low. Though Delhi is connected with Dharamsala by air, the airfares were among the highest in the country, he said.
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