Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Tuesday said that the state government has asked IndiGo airlines to start flight services on the Aizawl-Delhi and Aizawl-Guwahati sectors.
Mizoram has been facing airlink problem after Jet Airways withdrew operation from the state in February this year.
The state now has only one direct air link with Kolkata, which is operated by Air India.
Zoramthanga, who also holds general administration portfolio, said that the state lost its air direct link with Delhi and Guwahati after Jet Airways withdrew operation from the state on February 9 due to financial crunch.
He said that Air India has introduced additional flights after the government requested it to do so in order to ease public. “As per our request Air India has provided us additional flights on the Aizawl-Kolkata and Aizawl-Imphal routes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday,” he said.
Before this, the state had only seven flights a week, including to and fro, which has now increased to 10 with the introduction of additional flights.
On Friday, Zoramthanga had written to union civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri to rationalise the airfare between Kolkata-Aizawl and Imphal-Aizawl sectors as the state has extremely poor air-connectivity.
He said that the airfare between Kolkata and Aizawl in comparison to airfare in other parts of the country for the same sector length and flying time is unrealistically high.
He also alleged that such arbitrary fixation of air fare in the Kolkata- Aizawl sector adversely affects the entire population of Mizoram.
“Arbitrary fixation of airfare is not only discriminatory, but it also deliberately violates the law of the land as enshrined in Article 14 of the Indian Constitution,” he said.
According to the chief minister, the airfare between Imphal and Aizawl, which is barely 90 nautical miles with a flying time of 20 minutes, is Rs 7,950 and is far higher than Imphal-Kolkata fare of Rs 3,845, a sector distance of 325 nautical miles, and a flying time of one hour and 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, principal consultant for civil aviation, Wing Commander Joe Lalhmingliana, said that many airlines are reluctant to operate from the state because of poor runway.
He said that the pavement classification number (PCN) of Lengpui Airport is recorded as only 36 since the beginning due absence of upgrade after its renovation, because of which many flight with high CAN could not land.
The official said that the runway surface of the airport was re-constructed during 2012-2013.
He said that officials of Airport Authority of India will visit the airport and measure the runway surface. “We expect that the PCN will cross 36 after the measurement and accordingly other flights will start operation,” he added.