Shillong-Delhi air service takes flight
SHILLONG, Dec 21: A 75-seater Bombardier Q400 touched down at Umroi, Meghalaya’s lone functional airport, on Monday to signal the start of the long overdue direct flight service between Shillong and New Delhi.
FlyBig, the new airline company, operated the SpiceJet aircraft that carried a few of its officials and passengers including Transport Minister Sniawbhalang Dhar. The flight returned to the national capital with six passengers on board.
The state government had partnered with FlyBig to operate the Shillong-Delhi flights. The Bombardier Q400 was chartered as an alternative arrangement.
“It is a historic day since the aspiration of the people for a direct flight to the national capital has become a reality,” Dhar said, adding that he made it clear to FlyBig that the twice-a-week service should be regular from January 4, 2021.
“If the potential is good, we will push them to go for daily flights,” he said.
FlyBig CEO, Captain Srinivas Rao said the company was committed to serving Meghalaya while admitting that starting the operation was a big challenge.
“We have enable connectivity and the opportunity is plenty. We are also looking to connect Shillong with Agartala and Tura under UDAN-4 RCS scheme within Feb. 2021,” he said.
Chief Secretary MS Rao advised FlyBig to offer small incentives for passengers for attracting them to Umroi airport instead of the one in Guwahati.
Local MLA George B. Lyngdoh was present on the occasion.