Air India to suspend lone Himachal Pradesh flight from Saturday

November 20th, 2008 - 12:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Shimla, Nov 20 (IANS) State-owned carrier Air India will suspend its operations in Himachal Pradesh from Saturday, officials said here Thursday. The decision is likely to hit the tourism industry of the state.According to officials, Air India authorities have decided to suspend the lone flight between Delhi and Kullu from Nov 22. The flight operates twice a week.

The flight was launched March 19 this year when the new terminal building was inaugurated at Bhuntar near Kullu by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.

“It’s strange, given that at the time of launching the flight (Delhi-Kullu-Delhi), Patel assured the state government Air India would increase flights to seven days a week,” president of the Travel Agents Association of Kullu Subhash Sharma told IANS.

He said the suspension of the lone flight will affect the tourism industry.

Manali-based hotelier Tek Ram Thakur said: “The suspension of the Air India flights would mean monopoly business for private carriers. The state government should take up the issue with the central government.”

Pradeep Oberio, chief marketing manager of Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, however, said the operation of flights in Himachal Pradesh have only been suspended for the time being.

“The flights would be resumed when there is a rush of tourists,” he added.

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