Dharamsala to be linked with Chandigarh by air

Dharamsala may soon be connected with Chandigarh by air. A nine-seat Grand Caravan 208 B plane likely to fly between Chandigarh and Dharamsala carried out a test flight at the Gaggal airport. At present, Dharamsala is well connected with Delhi by air with four to and fro flights. However, there was no flight between Chandigarh and Dharamsala. Director of the Gaggal airport in Kangra, Parwinder Tiwari, while talking to The Tribune, said the IIC Technologies Company of Hyderabad had mooted a proposal to fly the nine-seat plane between Chandigarh and Dharamsala. It has entered into an agreement with a Himachal-based company Air Himalayas for the purpose. Already, the company has carried out flights between Chandigarh and Kullu. However, they carried out a test flight at Gaggal airport in Kangra district today for the first time. Tiwari said that company was proposing an airfare between Rs 8,000 and Rs 10,000 for a trip between Chandigarh and Dharamsala. The plane has nine seats, including 4 business class. The airport director said the company, for the time being, was carrying out a survey at the said airports of calculate the logistics of operating intercity flights in Himachal. The sources here said the company had made a request to the Himachal government to subsidize three to four tickets per sortie in the initial phase to make the project of connecting various destinations of Himachal with small planes a success. It has proposed that in lieu of the subsidy provided it can offer seats to the government officials wanting to travel in different parts of the state. The Gaggal airport of Kangra is the busiest of Himachal. Four flights were going to and fro from Delhi to Dharamsala daily. The cost of one-way ticket from Delhi to Dharamsala was about Rs 15,000 or more in the peak tourist season. With the IIC technologies proposing to ply small planes at lower fare from Chandigarh to Dharamsala, the authorities here feel it can give further boost to tourism in the area. The small planes have already been a success in Nepal where they are landed even on kucha airstrips using the GPRS system. The story can be repeated in Himachal. Source : The Tribune

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