Aizawl: Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has assured the Mizoram government of all possible helps to restore the state’s air links.
Mizoram has been facing connectivity problem since Jet Airways, a private airline withdrew its service to Delhi and Guwahati from Aizawl on February 10.
An official release said on Wednesday that state governor Kummanam Rajasekharan called on the union minister in New Delhi on Monday seeking the latter’s help to restore Mizoram’s air connectivity.
While submitting the representation, the governor informed the union minister that lack of connectivity has led to isolation of Mizoram with other states including the national capital and it may lead to tremendous difficulties to the people of the state and most importantly in case of medical emergency, the release said.
Rajasekharan sought additional flights by Air India from Aizawl to Guwahati and New Delhi and also asked the minister to have a talk with other airline to commence service to different sectors from Mizoram at the earliest.
Prabhu on his part told the governor that improving the air connectivity of North-East is one of the top priorities of his ministry and will extend its full support in restoring the air links, the release said.
During the meeting, which also seen the presence of civil aviation secretary Ashwini Kumar Lohani and joint secretary Usha Padhee, the union minister said that Indigo will soon commence its operation from Aizawl to Agartala and he will also speak to other airlines to start flight service from Mizoram during an upcoming meeting with stakeholders of all airlines, the release added.
Earlier, state BJP had claimed that Prabhu had promised to introduce Air India flights to Delhi and Guwahati from Aizawl.
“As half of the month has passed, nothing could be done during February, but Air India flights would be introduced in the Aizawl-Delhi and Aizawl to Guwahati sectors from March,” Prabhu was quoted as saying by BJP.
Citing non-viability of route because of fuel price rise, a depreciating rupee and a difficult pricing environment, Jet Airways has withdrawn its flight service to Mizoram after operating the last flight on Guwahati-Aizawl route on February 10.
With this withdrawal, Mizoram has only direct air link with Kolkata which is being currently operated by Air India.
Many commuters faced inconvenience as they have to travel over 150 km to Silchar in neighbouring Assam’s Cachar district to catch flight other than Air India.
The withdrawal of flight service by Jet Airways also hit patients and business sector, according to sources.