The launch of air taxi operations from Indore by a private operator scheduled for Monday was yet again postponed at the last minute due to bad weather conditions.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who was expected to inaugurate the service, also expressed his inability to attend the event as he was preoccupied with Simhastha fair in Ujjain, sources said.
The operator, Supreme Transport Aviation -- which had earlier planned to launch the services in September 2015 -- had postponed the launch due to delays in getting permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
While the operator got all the relevant permissions earlier this year, the launch kept getting delayed for one reason or another.
“The scheduled launch of air taxi service at 3.30 pm (on Monday) has been cancelled due to bad weather. We are yet to take a decision on the fresh launch date but it will take place soon,” company’s senior state manager Milind Mahajan told HT.
The operations will initially commence on Indore-Bhopal, Indore-Jabalpur, and Indore-Ahmedabad routes and later expand to other cities.
The state government had earlier planned to give subsidy on part of the per-hour flying cost subject to a maximum of Rs 1 crore per month.
However, in December, 2015, the company received a jolt after MP Tourism Development Corporation cancelled its contract to provide subsidy following inordinate delays in getting the DGCA approval.
Initially, Supreme Aviation -- in collaboration with MP Tourism Development Corporation -- had planned to connect 12 cities including popular tourist destinations of Kanha, Bhandhavgarh and Gwalior with Indore and Bhopal.
The company had also planned inter-state operations on Nagpur, Agra and Ahmedabad routes.
“For now, we will be focusing only on the profitable routes as our contract with MP Tourism Development Corporation is no longer applicable,” a company official said.
Sources said the operations are expected to commence later this week provided the weather conditions remain favourable.