Manipur: Imphal-Dimapur direct flight kicks off

Jimmy Leivon
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The maiden flight Saturday left the Imphal Airport at 10:35 am with the traditional water canon salute. (Photo: Twitter/@NBirenSingh)

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh flagged off the Imphal-Dimapur direct flight service from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal Saturday.

The Guwahati-Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati flight, operated by Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, is a regional connectivity scheme (RCS) route under UDAN. It will operate thrice a week — Wednesday, Friday and Sunday — on a 70-seater aircraft.

The flight will reduce the seven-hour bus commute between Dimapur and Imphal to a 50-minute ride.

Flight connectivity for Dimapur is significant, as it is the business hub of Nagaland. With Dimapur connected to Guwahati, onward connectivity to Bangalore, Delhi and Kolkata will also be feasible.

CM Biren Singh said the flight service will not only build better connections between the two neighbouring states, but also strengthen their friendly relations. He said in the next two-three months, Alliance Air has promised to operate daily flights between Imphal and Dimapur.

The maiden flight Saturday left the Imphal Airport at 10:35 am with the traditional water canon salute. Biren Singh personally handed out boarding passes to the first three passengers.

Minister for PHED Losii Dikho, minister for fisheries N Kayasii, chairman of Tourism Corporation of Manipur Limited Dr. Sapam Ranjan, chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu, commissioner transport M Harekrishna, director Transport Mercina Panmei, CEO of Alliance Air CS Subbiah and others attended the inaugural function.

With the addition of Dimapur and Imphal to its list of destinations, there will be 59 stations in Alliance Air’s ambit, the airline said in a statement. It said all inclusive one-way fares on the Dimapur-Imphal route start at Rs1,811.