Kullu, the busiest tourist valley of Himachal has finally got the much-awaited air connectivity to the city of Chandigarh. The inaugural flight took off from Kullu’s Bhunter airport on Thursday and the regular flights will be started from the 9th of October. Another news coming in from the officials is that the Kullu Bhunter airport might see expnasion of the runway and get other mordern updates.
Launching the inaugural flight were the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, along with Union Health Minister J P Nadda. Nadda claimed that the air connectivity for Kullu in the hill state was crucial from a tourism point of view. It has been a persistent demand of travellers added MP Ram Swaroop.
About the Kullu-Chandigarh flight:
Air India will be operating a 72 seater plane between the Kullu-Chandigarh route. The flight will take off at 8:35 AM from Bhunter airport in Kullu and will land in Chandigarh in 45 minutes. The flight will then take off at 9:50 Am from the Chandigarh airport. The operations will be continuous seven days a week.
JP Nadda said that the flight was launched under UDAN ( Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) scheme. He maintained that the cheapest fare for the Kullu-Chandigarh route would be 4000INR. The route will be added in the second phase of UDAN scheme and there would soon be a cap of 2500INR.
Kullu airport might get an upgrade:
Adding to the excitement for the Kullu town Sinha added that Helicopter services between Kullu, Shimla and Chandigarh would be started soon too. The Bhunter airport will be upgraded and the facilities for night landing will also be provided. Provisions will also be made to make operations feasible under bad weather. But he also said that the expansion of the runway and the airport will depend on the amount of air traffic that the Kullu-Chandigarh route will fetch.
This is not the first flight from Kullu to Chandigarh:
An airline named Vayudoot was operational on the Kullu-Chandigarh route but the operations were ceased in the early nineties. After that there was no scheduled air connectivity between the two cities for two decades.
In 2014, a Manali based private company Air Himalayas started non scheduled operations on the Kullu-Chandigarh route along with Delhi, and Kangra. Air Himalayas deployed their operations only for two months in the peak tourist season each year. They operated flights between the routes for three years, however; there were no operations in 2017.