Editorial

Belated air connect

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/9/2019 1:01:05 PM IST

 While there is good reason to feel elated about the introduction of the 70-seater ATR 72-600 Alliance Air flight from Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal and back, three times a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; there is also more to it than meets the eye. The connectivity between Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal has been long felt need. However it is hoped that will not ultimately result in degrading Dimapur as a sub-station of Guwahati, the latter of which has developed into a fast growing metropolitan city and undeclared capital of the north east. There are 31 daily flights operating in and out of Guwahati including two international flights(Paro/Bhutan and Singapore) and Bangkok. Imphal airport is also billed as the second international airport after Guwahati in the north east and also the second most busiest airport after Guwahati. There are nine daily flights to Imphal including an international flight to Mandalay(Myanmar). Both Air India and IndGo fly from to and from Imphal to Indore, Aizawl, Patna, Agartala, Lucknow, Guwahati, New Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai. The latest and ninth flight added was on December 7 between Guwahati- Dimapur-Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati. With the addition of the ATR flight with Dimapur, the airport will handle ten daily flights. On the other hand, Dimapur has only two flights a day but only one flight on Saturday( when Air India does not operate). The volume of passengers travelling by air in Dimapur has certainly grown over the years despite the fact that many still travel by train to Guwahati to catch their flights owing to convenient flight time and connectivity. According to airport sources at Dimapur, there has been a surge in number of air travellers during the past few years. During festive seasons on puja and Christmas, no ticket is available. This has compelled hundreds of travellers to take fly to Guwahati and the travel either by road or train to Dimapur. Conversely, many have to travel by road or train to Guwahati to take connecting flights to other parts of the country. The introduction of the ATR 72-600(Flight 91 741/42) between Guwahati-Dimapur-Imphal will serve to meet the needs of those who want to travel to Guwahati from Dimapur and back or Dimapur to Imphal and back. Had the flight timing been scheduled to enable passengers from Dimapur wishing to travel to Aizawl or Paro(Bhutan) or Shillong, then it would serve a larger section. It may be noted that the ATR 72-600(91 741/742) is not the first flight connecting Dimapur and Guwahati or Imphal. Earlier during the late 80s, a 19-seater Dornier aircraft used the route to ferry passengers. Also during the 80s, then Indian Airlines flew the route from Delhi-Guwahati-Dimapur thrice a week. The positive aspect of the re-introduced route(Ghy-Dmu-Imf) is that it has a huge potential for passenger growth provided it increases frequency to daily flights and if travellers can also fly to Aizawl, Umroi(Shillong) and Agartala. The BJP government under Modi has the political will to “Act East” and it will have a profound impact. On the other hand, the government of Nagaland and its political leadership needs to put their minds in doing what is needed. Seek additional flights to Dimapur and at least thrice a week flight from Delhi-Guwahati-Dimapur. If the state government is serious about tourist trade, it should ensure better flight and train connectivity to and from Dimapur or it will be indulging in pipe dreams.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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