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Chandigarh is all set to get connected to Shimla by air in the next one week as state-run Pawan Hans will start daily helicopter service from the Chandigarh International Airport. The journey time from Chandigarh to Shimla is expected to be 25 minutes approximately. Sources told Chandigarh Newsline on Thursday that a six-seater helicopter would operate from the Chandigarh airport on daily basis. “The fare is expected to be around Rs 2,600 per trip,” said an official privy to the development. Pawan Hans will operate the service.
Sources at Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) said the proposal to start this service was year old and unavailability of the Pawan Hans helicopter had delayed matters.
“We expect a good response from the public for this service because this sector is always in demand. How many times it would operate a day depends upon the demand of passengers,” said the official, adding this service would help the residents of Chandigarh travel to Shimla in very less time.
There is no air connectivity from Chandigarh to Shimla. Earlier, a private operator had started services but could not continue for long.
CHAIL sources said that almost all the clearances have been acquired to start the service. “Schedule is yet to come, but we expect it to come very soon,” said an official.
Last month, Air India’s regional arm — Alliance Air – started flight services between Kullu-Chandigarh-Kullu. Air Alliance is operating a 72-seater aircraft on the route currently. Air India has also announced a direct flight to Bangkok from December this year.
The new terminal of the airport was inaugurated in 2015. Currently, work on upgrading the runway is on and the CHIAL officials say instrument landing system at the airport would also be upgraded to help the aircraft land during bad weather.