Guwahati: Enhancing air connectivity in the northeast, Alliance Air has resumed the much-awaited Silchar-Imphal direct flight service, which was non-operational for a decade.

The flight on the Silchar-Imphal route will operate under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh Ke Aam Naagrik) of the Union government at a subsidised rate.

The Alliance Air flight will operate daily between Silchar, the second most populous city of Assam, and Manipur’s capital Imphal. The flight on this route will also connect Mizoram’s capital Aizawl and Nagaland’s Dimapur on different days with Silchar.

The ATR 72 aircraft with a seating capacity of 70 passengers has a scheduled arrival and departure time from Silchar airport at 1:05 am and 1:30 pm respectively. With a flight distance of 45 minutes, the aircraft reaches Imphal aiport at 2:10 in the afternoon.

On Friday, 30 passengers flew from Silchar on the maiden flight.

Speaking to the media, Meesala Narsingh Rao, Station Manager of Alliance Air Aviation in Silchar Airport, said the much-awaited service has become feasible due to the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Civil Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Taking to Twitter, Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy thanked Prime Minster Modi and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for their support. “After a gap of 10 years resumption of airline service between Silchar and Imphal would have far-reaching implications for trade, tourism, health, education & business productivity,” he tweeted.

Manjula Das, the first passenger to board the flight from Silchar, was ceremonially handed the boarding pass by the airline officials. “We are elated to get a direct flight service between the cities. We were waiting for this direct connectivity for many days,” Manjula Das said.

Earlier, Air India, Kingfisher Airlines, and Jet Airways operated flights between Silchar and Imphal. But none could survive in the sector owing to various reasons.

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