Alliance Air Current Affairs - 2020

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Fact Box: Alliance Air flags off Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal flight under UDAN-RCS

Alliance Air has flagged-off its first flight operations between Guwahati in Assam to Dimapur (largest city of Nagaland) and Imphal (capital of Manipur), under the Regional Connectivity Scheme – Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN). This direct 50 minute-long flights connecting Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal is under a Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), part of government’s Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) programme.

The commencement of flight operations in region marks another step by the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation to establish a strong air network in North East India. The Alliance Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, currently connects 57 destinations and with addition of Dimapur and Imphal, there will be 59 stations in its ambit.

Key Highlights

A 70-seater aircraft will be deployed on these routes by the airline with the price of a one-way ticket from Dimapur to Imphal or vice versa costing Rs 1,811. The flights between Imphal and Dimapur route will operate thrice-weekly- on every Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Itinerary: Flight 9I 741 will depart from Guwahati at 8 am and arrive in Dimapur at 8:55 am, then the plane will depart from Dimapur at 9:20 am and arrive in Imphal at 10:10 am. While, Flight 9I 742 will depart from Imphal at 10:35 am, arrive in Dimapur at 11:25 am and the plane will depart from Dimapur at 11:50 am and arrive in Guwahati at 12:45 pm.

Need: Flight services from Dimapur to capital of Manipur, Imphal was a long pending demand from the region. This flight marks the inception of first-ever alternative option of connectivity to Imphal as until now, the Imphal is yet to be connected with India’s railway network. Therefore, till now, for a mere distance of 200 km, people had to travel for 7 hours by bus from Dimapur to reach Imphal, but now with establishment of the air route, people can now travel to Imphal in 50 minutes by air from Dimapur and can also access air connectivity to other parts of the country as well from Guwahati.

About UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)

UDAN-RCS, launched in April 2017, is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of Union Government, which aims to enable air operations on unserved routes, connecting regional areas, to promote balanced regional growth and to make flying affordable and widespread for masses. It also seeks boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of India.

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India supported Jaffna International Airport commence its operations

The Jaffna International Airport (JIA) in Sri Lanka received its inaugural flight from Chennai, Tamil Nadu in presence of country’s President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremsinghe. Alliance Air, the subsidiary of Air India sent its inaugural flight from Chennai to newly upgraded Jaffna International Airport at Palaly, (20 km north of Jaffna city of Sri Lanka). It carried Air India CMD Ashwini Lohani and its CEO C.S.Subbiah among other invitees from aviation sector.

This inaugural flight is yet another example of India’s commitment to continue with people-oriented development projects in Sri Lanka.

Key Highlights

Currently, there will be 3 flights a week to Chennai but connectivity to Tiruchirapalli and Kochi is also planned in coming months. This will provide a big boost to Jaffna connectivity with Southern India.

Alliance air services from Chennai is the beginning and efforts are being made to start services between Jaffna and Colombo.

The flight is expected to improve people-to-people contact between India and Sri Lanka as well as boost tourism and trade between the two neighbours.

About Jaffna International Airport

The airport is built with Indian assistance and is located in Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority North. It completion marks an important development for region as well as for whole of Sri Lanka. It is equipped with a 2.3-km runway and is third international airport in Sri Lanka.

The airport has now been developed afresh and the runway length has been extended from 950 metres to 1400 metres to facilitate ATR 72 aircraft that carries 70 passengers. Under Phase II of project the runway length will be further extended up to 2,300 metres for bigger aircraft.

Background: The Jaffna airport was operational during 1960s and 1970s but was closed down following eruption of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) war or Sri Lankan Civil War. India then extended assistance for development of war-affected Jaffna in northern province.

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