Cashing in on the rising inflow of visitors to the Kangra valley, SpiceJet, a private airliner, started its daily flight from Delhi to Gaggal Airport near Dharamsala on Friday.
SpiceJet is the second aviation company to start its services to the state this summer after Air India and Gaggal Airport the only airport in Himachal Pradesh to have two daily flights from the national capital.
SpiceJet flight landed at Gaggal Airport at 7.30am. The return flight was flagged off by transport minister GS Bali.
SpiceJet's flight will take off from Delhi at 5.55am and will land in Kangra at 7.30am. The flight will return on the same day at 7.50am. The company will later operate the flight via union territory, Chandigarh. The services will continue till October 2013.
It may be recalled that the three airports in Himachal — Jubbarhatti in Shimla, Gaggal in Kangra and Bhuntar near Kullu — were closed nine months ago after the only service provider Kingfisher airlines grounded and discontinued its operation in October last year. Bhunter and Kangra airports were opened on May 15 after Air India’s subsidiary Alliance Air started regular flights to the two destinations. Shimla airport is still closed.
As compared to Air India
The Air India ticket costs over Rs 6,000, while SpiceJet is offering the services at Rs 4,775. The private airline has deployed its Bombardier Q400 aircraft on the Delhi-Dharamsala route that can carry 78 passengers, while Alliance Air operates the service with a 48-seater turbo-prop ATR aircraft.