SILCHAR, July 16 - In what could be called a major boost to connectivity from the remote part of the country, Silchar, the second biggest urban sprawl in the State has been connected to New Delhi with daily flights by Jet Airways.
Marking an end to the ATR flights, the airline carrier started the daily commercial Boeing flights with 9W 903 flying from Delhi on Sunday. Officials of the Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Jet Airways crew greeted the flight with water cannon salute after it reached the Silchar airport at 11:55 am with 159 passengers.
According to sources, the 737-800 Boeing aircraft shall fly from New Delhi to reach Silchar via Kolkata. It will carry passengers to Guwahati and will come back to Silchar to fly back to New Delhi with another halt at Kolkata every day.
The 168 seater aircraft carried 93 passengers from Silchar to Guwahati and will fly 167 passengers to Kolkata from Silchar on the first day. It also had 30 passengers for Delhi as well, sources added.
�We are delighted to be connected to the capital from home. The onboard services were pleasant as usual and travelling woes will be lessened to a great degree henceforth provided the facilities at the Silchar airport is improved and the road condition gets better,� said Dhrubhendu Shekhar Bhattacharjee who reached Silchar by the flight.
On the other hand, Nandkishore Deoli, the airport director at the Silchar Airport handed over the boarding pass to Rajendra Choudhury, the first passenger flying to Guwahati by the Boeing aircraft.
Expressing his happiness, Deoli said �This will foster air connectivity in this region which has great potential to become a tourist destination. But, the present airport needs a massive facelift to accommodate more passengers. With more flights on the cards, the airport is expected to have around 60,000 passengers flying per month in the days ahead. We hope that the government shall soon allot the plot of land required to construct the much needed new terminal.