Flybig services come to a grinding halt

SHILLONG, Dec 3: Flybig which was contracted to operate the Shillong-Delhi-Shillong flight has had to suspend its operations due to the non-availability of the Q400 Bombardier aircraft.
The flight services of Flybig between Shillong-Delhi-Shillong so far have been erratic and the flight has not operated for a long time even though the services were inaugurated last December with much fanfare.
Speaking on the matter, Flybig Director, Manish Koul said that the services have not been stopped but only temporarily suspended due to non-availability of aircraft. However the company is optimistic about starting the services soon.
“We are in talks with the management of SpiceJet and we hope to start the services by next week,” Koul said.
Flybig does not own the Q400 Bombardier aircraft but hires them from SpiceJet and hence is dependent on whether the latter can spare the aircraft on a given day. When the frequency of SpiceJet flights increases, Flybig faces issues of getting an aircraft.
When asked why the company is not using popular websites like Yatra and MakeMyTrip to enable passengers to book their tickets seamlessly for the Shillong-Delhi-Shillong flight, Koul said that since this is a chartered aircraft, they can only confirm the availability of the aircraft only one or two days in advance and hence they cannot put their schedules in popular websites.
“If we have a longer tie-up for the aircraft, then we can definitely put up the schedule on popular websites,” he said.
Koul also said that there is very good response to their Shillong-Delhi-Shillong services and passengers, ministry and other authorities are happy about it since passengers who wish to fly to the national capital from Shillong are no longer required to go via Guwahati as they can board the flight from Shillong.
The Meghalaya government last year had partnered with Flybig to operate the direct flight on the Shillong-Delhi-Shillong route and the company was asked to operate at least twice or thrice a week on the route.
For now Flybig has come a cropper and the excitement of taking a flight to Delhi from Umroi airport is short-lived.

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