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Alliance Air to stop service

- Shillong airport latest to be impacted by AI stand

Shillong, May 28: Air travellers from Shillong to Calcutta who use Umroi airport will face an uphill task from June 1 as Alliance Air has said it would stop its services.

The news comes as a shock to fliers as Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, had resumed its flights for the Calcutta-Shillong-Calcutta route only in July last year.

“We have received notice from Alliance Air stating that no flights would be operating from June 1 onwards. This has put us in a quandary as several passengers have already booked their tickets for June,” a source said.

The notice was sent today morning. Apart from stating that the flights would stop operating from June 1 “until further notice”, no guidelines were given as to how the passengers, who have alr- eady booked their flights, should be compensated for the loss.

Air India sources said Alliance Air was “constrained” to issue the notice “due to irregular payment of viability gap funding by the North Eastern Council (NEC)”.

The ATR aircraft from Umroi airport used to operate five days a week, except Tuesday and Friday.

In June last year, the Union civil aviation ministry had directed Air India to resume the flight to Shillong after it was suspended from January 2013.

From January to June 2013, Alliance Air had suspended its flights from Calcutta to the Shillong, Tezpur, and Lilabari airports after the NEC had stopped the viability gap funding to Alliance Air from December 2011.

Air India has also suspended services to Jorhat and Tezpur in Assam for the same reasons (viability gap funding by NEC and operational limitations) and because the runways of those airports are under repair.

Another source claimed that a private airline was likely to operate services between Shillong and other states in the region from June 1, but this could not be officially confirmed.