Itanagar, Aug 19:The Tezu airport in Lohit district of Arunachal Pradesh started operating commercial flights on Thursday when an ATR 72 aircraft of Flybig Airlines, with 30 passengers on board, flew to Guwahati in Assam.
As Chief Minister Pema Khandu flagged off the flight, Tezu became the second Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) in the state to start commercial operations after Pasighat in East Siang district, from where Flybig commenced service to Guwahati in May. Operationalisation of the Tezu airport will boost connectivity of Eastern Arunachal that will facilitate easy and fast accessibility to economical activities, business and health services to the people, Khandu said after attending the inaugural flight ceremony virtually from Itanagar.
He said that starting a flight service from Tezu attains much significance as the North-eastern state shares international borders with three countries Bhutan, China and Myanmar. A large chunk of the Indian Army and paramilitary personnel are serving in different parts of the state. Now they will also have a faster travel option to and from home, he said.
The Chief Minister announced that all army and paramilitary personnel availing the Flybig flights - Guwahati-Tezu and Guwahati-Pasighat - will pay only Rs 75 for one way fare till December 31 this year. The gesture from the airline company is in commemoration of India's 75 years of Independence, he said, thanking Flybig founder and Managing Director Capt Sanjay Mandvia.
"Adding a glorious chapter in the Aviation history of Arunachal. Flagged off today @flybigairlines. Flight for Tezu-Guwahati route from Itanagar through VC. Tezu is the 7th domestic destination in NE under UDAN, giving boost to regional connectivity as envisioned by PM @narendramodi Ji, Khandu tweeted later.
The CM requested Mandavia to explore possibilities of extending similar services to the rest of the Advanced Landing Grounds (ALGs) operational in the state. Khandu said that Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has recently assured him that the state will get three more airports in West Kameng, Dibang Valley and Upper Subansiri districts. He said the process of land acquisition is under process.
"The exotic hill hamlet, Tezu, our newest destination is all set to welcome you! Now fly non-stop between Tezu & Guwahati 4x weekly w.e.f 19-Aug at fares starting INR 1199," Flybig tweeted.