New Delhi: Shimla, the capital city of Himachal Pradesh and a popular tourist destination, has got direct air connectivity with Delhi again.
Minister of state for civil aviation VK Singh flagged the inaugural flight of Alliance Air, a wholly owned company of the government of India, between Delhi and Hidon airport at Shimla at a function held on Monday.
The Alliance Air will operate a brand new ATR42-600 aircraft, with seating capacity of 68-72 passengers, between the two locations. The ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) and Alliance Air had recommenced to resume the Delhi-Shimla-Delhi flight, which will operate daily effective from 26th September 2022.
Initially, this flight of Alliance Air was flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017. After operating for more than two years under UDAN, this flight was discontinued due to the renovation of the airport and the unavailability of suitable aircraft.
Now the, AAI has renovated Shimla airport and Alliance Air has inducted ATR-42 aircraft exclusively to connect airports of Himachal Pradesh, located in difficult terrains.
Singh said that this flight will provide convenience for the people of Shimla and Delhi NCR. The ministry is working to further increase this ATR connectivity from Shimla to Kullu and Shimla to Dharmshala. He congratulated the state government and thanked them for their support and cooperation.
Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jairam Thakur, who was also present at the inaugural ceremony, expressed his thanks towards the MoCA for providing the ATR connectivity based on the need of the region. He further said that the state government is working towards creating more air connectivity in the state in collaboration with the ministry.
Flight 9I 821 will depart from Delhi at 0710 hrs and arrive in Shimla at 0820 hrs. Flight 9I 822 will depart from Shimla at 0850 hrs and arrive in Delhi at 1000 hrs. The introductory all-inclusive fares for Delhi-Shimla and Shimla-Delhi will be ₹2,141.
Earlier, the Alliance Air, the only Indian public airline, had signed a deal with Amsterdam-based lesser TrueNoord during an airshow event at Singapore last month for supply of two ATR 42-600 aircraft. The new aircraft is able to support Alliance Air’s mission of serving challenging airfields in the Himalayas.
Secretary, MoCA Rajiv Bansal, additional secretary Usha Padhee, chairman and managing director of Air India Asset Holdings Limited (AIAHL) Vikram Dutt, chief executive officer of Alliance Air Vineet Sood and other dignitaries from MoCA, AAI, government of Himachal Pradesh and Alliance Air were present.