Dharamsala, March 26
IndiGo today commenced a direct flight between Dharamsala and Delhi. Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur participated in the inaugural ceremony of the IndiGo flight to Dharamsala, virtually.
Talking to The Tribune, he said it was the fifth commercial flight to operate between Delhi and Dharamsala form the Gaggal airport in Kangra district. The increased number of flights from Delhi to Dharamsala would boost tourism in Kangra, Chamba, Una, Mandi and Hamirpur.
He said the expansion of the Gaggal airport was the Centre’s priority. Now the ball was in the court of the state government. It should acquire and hand over the land needed for the expansion to the Airports Authorities of India (AAI) at the earliest so that the work could begin, he said.
Vinay Malhotra, head of global sales, IndiGo, said, “We are pleased to announce the launch of our operations from Dharamsala, the 78th domestic destination, making our way into the serene valleys of HP. Direct connectivity to Dharamsala will provide a gateway for tourists to explore the local markets, temples, monasteries, museums, churches and unwind in the picturesque mountains of HP. The direct flight from Delhi will also connect HP to the rest of the country and international destinations in Asia, Middle East and Europe.”
At present, SpiceJet and Air India operate two flights each between Dharamsala and Delhi daily. With IndiGo starting the service from today, there will be five flights a day on the route. Air India also operates a flight between Chandigarh and Dharamsala for five days in a week.
The Gaggal airport is the only domestic airport that has regular air connectivity. A proposal has been mooted for its expansion and the Centre has sanctioned Rs 400 crore for the project. The state has also proposed a budget of Rs 2,000 crore for the project.
Fifth commercial flight on this route
- This is the fifth commercial flight to operate between Delhi and Dharamsala from the Gaggal airport in Kangra district
- At present, SpiceJet and Air India operate two flights each between Dharamsala and Delhi daily
Acquire land for airport expansion
The expansion of Gaggal airport is the Centre’s priority. Now, the ball’s in the court of the state. It should acquire and hand over the land needed for the expansion of the airport to the AAI at the earliest. — Anurag Thakur, union minister
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