Itanagar: Bringing a major boost to air connectivity in Arunachal Pradesh’s eastern areas, Chief Minister Pema Khandu welcomed a first scheduled flight of Flybig Airlines from Tezu airport in Lohit to Guwahati on Thursday. The airline is launching its second flight service from the state. On May 24, this year, the first service was launched between Pasighat and Guwahati.
Khandu attended the inaugural flight ceremony virtually from Itanagar, where he said it is another feather in the cap of the aviation sector in the region, which he said hasn’t received much attention from the central government before Modi came to power. ‘Operationalisation of the Tezu airport will boost connectivity of Eastern Arunachal that will facilitate easy and fast accessibility to economical activities, business and health services to the people,’ Khandu said.
Since Arunachal Pradesh shares borders with three countries – Bhutan, Tibet-China, and Myanmar – the launch of flight services from Tezu is of great significance. ‘A large chunk of the Indian Army and paramilitary personnel are serving in different parts of the state. Now they will also have a faster travel option to and from home,’ he said.
The chief minister announced that all army and paramilitary personnel availing Flybig flights from Tezu and Pasighat will pay just Rs 75 (one way) as a fare until December 31, 2021. The airline company made the gesture in honor of India’s 75th anniversary of independence.
Flybig founder and managing director Capt Sanjay Mandvia, who was also present, was thanked for the noble gesture. According to him, it is appropriate to pay respect and recognition to those who have defended the country.
Khandu also expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for conceptualizing and implementing the UDAN scheme, which has enabled air connectivity in the state. Moreover, he asked Mandavia to explore possibilities of extending such services to all the ALGs in the state. Khandu congratulated the people of eastern Arunachal on the landmark achievement and urged them to take full advantage of the facility.
At Tezu, the ceremony was also attended by state civil aviation minister Nakap Nalo, Arunachal East MP Tapir Gao, legislator DasangluPul, AAI Regional Manager and others.
Under the UDAN scheme of the central government, Flybig, which currently operates ATR72 aircraft with a seating capacity of 72 passengers, will start operating flights between Guwahati and Pasighat, Pasighat and Shillong and Guwahati and Tezu. The first flight from Tezu to Guwahati on the day was reported to have carried at least 30 passengers.