Puducherry: Puducherry airport, non-functional for nearly three years, will open its doors for commercial operations of flights from July 1. No-frills carrier SpiceJet will launch its first flight to Hyderabad under Centre’s ambitious Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (Udan) scheme on July 1. The decision was taken in a meeting convened by civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey with Puducherry chief secretary Manoj Parida and the flight operator.
Puducherry was the first among the 100-odd airports to launch flights under the flagship program Udan or Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).
“The government was making all efforts to operate flight services from the month of May itself. After Spice Jet started operating services, the city would be connected to a handful of destinations in south within no time.”, said Puducherry tourism and civil aviation minister Malladi Krishna Rao.
“The government here has come forward offering a number of concessions, including free water, electricity and security for a sustainable operation of flight service. This would definitely be a boost to the tourism sector and thereby to the state’s economy,” he told DC.
The civil aviation ministry and the Puducherry government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the regional connectivity scheme in New Delhi on October last year. The regional aviation scheme, which would be in operation for 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to unserved and underserved airports of the country through the revival of existing airstrips and airport. Under RCS, the government has proposed at least half the seats on every flight be available under a fare cap of `2, 500 per seat per hour of flying.
Though Puducherry airport was constructed in 1989, it was under utilised for decades with many unsuccessful attempts to operate services.
SpiceJet was the first operator to launch flight services from the airport in 2013, where the last attempt was made in 2014 when Alliance Air launched flights to Bengaluru but stopped services within six months....