To the excitement of air travellers of Chandigarh and Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, air services were announced on the 9th October between the two cities by the government. The inaugural flight of the Kullu-Chandigarh route was to take off on Saturday, the 14th of October. The flight which was to depart from Chandigarh International Airport was delayed by up to 10 minutes due to which was reportedly a technical problem.
Later an Air India official at the airport spoke to the media citing Air Traffic Control Clearance at the airport as the reason behind the delay of inaugural Kullu-Chandigarh flight. He also added that there were only 10 passengers in the aircraft that had a total seating capacity of 72 passengers. The route was facing low occupancy due to the Diwali holiday season. We are hoping the things to improve once the holiday season ends. The Kullu-Manali area is a famous tourist destination in Himachal Pradesh. The town which is located at a seven hour distance from the city of Chandigarh sees a lot of tourists from the city. Due to the peak tourist season during the monsoons a lot of people get stuck on landslide prone highways and thus the Kullu-Chandigarh flight might come as a boon for people looking to spend their summers in the hill station.
About the Kullu-Chandigarh flight:
Air India operates a 72 seater aircraft on the Kullu-Chandigarh. The flight leaves from Kullu’s bhuntar airport at 8:35AM and form Chandigarh back to Kullu at 9:50AM. The current average fare for the route is 4000 for a one way journey. The Government is planning to add the route to the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme which will effectively cap the fare price to 2500 Indian rupees. The flight will be operational seven days a week.
Kullu residents might get more than Kullu-Chandigarh flight:
Inaugurating the Kullu-Chandigarh flight Jayant Sinha also told the media that helicopter services might be started soon between Kullu-Chandigarh, Kullu-Shimla, and Shimla-Chandigarh routes. The Bhuntar airport in Kullu is also planned to get upgraded with modern facilities. The airport as of now can only operate during day time, facilities will be provided at the airport to enable the operations of flights at night hours too. The technology which is in the pipeline to come to the Bhuntar airport will also enable the flight operations in bad weather.
Read about the Kullu Airport here :