IMPHAL, Nov 8 - Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has said that the Imphal-Mandalay flight will commence from November 23 from the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal.
The flight service will be operated by Air KBZ of Myanmar twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Air KBZ Myanmar had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Imphal-based KB Enterprises on July 3.
The Chief Minister launched the online ticketing portal for the flight service at the Chief Minister�s secretariat in the presence of Transport Director Mercina R Panmei and other transport department officials on Thursday.
�The commencement of Imphal-Mandalay flight service will take us closer to our goal of making Manipur a major hub for travelling to South-East Asian countries,� the Transport Director stated in a press release.
�Manipur is central to the future of India�s Act East Policy and the proposed flight service could become one of the major drivers for mainstreaming northeastern India in the Act East Policy of the country with Manipur as the gateway to South-East Asian region,� he said.
Stating that Mandalay, Myanmar�s second largest city, is emerging as a major economic hub of the country, and the Mandalay International Airport, which connects 11 domestic and 19 international destinations, can serve as a major transit hub for onward travel to other Southeast Asian countries.
Since 2010, domestic passenger traffic through Mandalay has been increasing by 20 per cent every year, while growth in international flights has been up by 60 per cent annually, the release said.
In the recent past, the number of travellers between Manipur and Myanmar has increased manifold for medical treatment, business and religious purposes, for cultural ties, among others. Imphal-Mandalay direct air flight will help in further strengthening and deepening of the ties between the State and the neighbouring country.