Air India inaugural Kangra flight ferries Punjab Kings XI team

Dharamsala: Ahead of the IPL match to be held tomorrow, Air India today started flights to Gaggal airport with the successful landing of a 48 seater aircraft for the Delhi-Dharamsala route.

The ground staff and the airport that were idle for the past nine months, after the collapse of Kingfisher Airlines, were active again as many VIP’s and celebrities have started arriving for the two IPL match scheduled to be played on May 16 and May 18 at the scenic Dharamsala cricket stadium.

The inaugural flight from Delhi had the Kings XI Punjab team travelling for the game venue.

Kangra airport
Kangra airport

One of the passengers boarding the return flight to Delhi was GS Bali, the state cabinet minister for transport. Before catching the flight the minister said, “it is because of the continuous efforts of the state government that air flights to Kangra airport have resumed.”

Sudhir Sharma, state Urban Development Minister claimed that Spice Jet, the private airline operator was also keen to start regular flight from Delhi to Dharamsala.

“Spice Jet is awaiting approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA ) for operating the route,” said Sharma.

V C Pharka, Principal Secretary tourism said, “we have been persistently impressing upon the union government the need to have air connectivity to Himachal airports.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had taken up the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, civil aviation minister Ajit Singh.

Senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar and young MP Anurag Thakur had also lobbied with the civil aviation minister for restoring flights to Kangra and other airports of Himachal Pradesh.

Arvind Sharma is an award winning bi-lingual journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He has worked with Divya Himachal, Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhasker, Vir Partap, Ajit and PTI. In 2010, he was conferred the Himachal Kesri journalism award. He reports on the Tibetan Government in Exile, politics, sports, tourism and other topics. He lives in Dharamshala.

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