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Air link for Pasighat

Arunachal Pradesh will have direct air connectivity with Calcutta from May.

By Sanjay Mandal in Calcutta
  • Published 27.04.18

Calcutta: Arunachal Pradesh will have direct air connectivity with Calcutta from May.

Zoom Air, which started its Calcutta-Tezpur (Assam) flight on Thursday under the Centre's regional connectivity scheme, plans to fly to two airports in Arunachal, Pasighat and Tezu, allowing tourists here to reach the Northeast state in about two hours.

"We will start Calcutta-Jorhat flights from May 17 and connect it further to Pasighat from May 24. Tezu, the other airport in Arunachal, is not ready yet. So we are planning to operate flights there from June," said Koustav Dhar, CEO and managing director of Zoom Air. There will be flights on four days to Pasighat and three days to Tezu.

The Bombarider CRJ 200 LR series aircraft with 50 seats will take about an hour to reach Jorhat, where it will stop over for 20 minutes before flying to the two Arunachal destinations, taking another 20 minutes.

Under the Udan (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, 50 per cent of the seats are subsidised. The fare for these seats will be Rs 3,100 for one way to Arunachal from Calcutta, airline officials said.

Tour operators said there is a good demand for Arunachal in Calcutta but connectivity is the biggest deterrent. Now people usually go to Guwahati and then reach Arunachal by road, which takes about 16 hours.

"Air connectivity to Arunachal will open another nearby hill destination for Calcuttans apart from Sikkim and Darjeeling," said Anil Punjabi, chairman, east, Travel Agents Federation of India.

The airline won bids for the Northeast routes in the second phase of Udan and the Calcutta-Tezpur flights are a part of this project.

However, the flights in the first phase are yet to start operating. Air Deccan, which pioneered low cost airlines in India, is expected to start Calcutta-Agartala-Shilong-Dimapur flights from May 1. The private operator conducted the trial run on Thursday.