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State Govt not interested in international flights from Srinagar
1/11/2019 11:13:50 PM
Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Early Times Report

Srinagar, Jan 11: Despite many air lines companies willingness to operate international flights from Srinagar Airport, the authorities seem not interested to start the services for boosting of tourism.
Several airline companies have written to the JK government that they want to start the international flights from Srinagar Airport. But on ground nothing is being done. "JK government is not interested to start these services. Few months back Air Asia also expressed willingness to operate international flights but the JK government has not given the positive response," a source said.
Air Asia CEO, has written to the Governor on October 30, that the company has always been on the forefront of driving tourism, investing and developing new virgin routes, which have potential but remain untapped.
"As such we are pleased to express our interest to operate direct international flight with our 330 wide body aircraft which has 377 seats from Kuala Lumpur to Srinagar. This route will serve as a new and the first direct connection between Southeast Asia and Kuala Lumpur to Srinagar, which we believe has great potential as Srinagar has so much to offer in terms of tourism," the letter reads.
The letter says Air Asia will need to invest in marketing spend and low fares to stimulate demand to ensure long term sustainability of this route.
"For us to successfully do this, we will require the support of the tourism board of Srinagar and the ministry of finance India. To boost tourism, we are keen to set up a joint marketing fund with the tourism board of Srinagar which we believe will be a win-win proposition for both parties- for Air Asia to grow our network and connectivity and for Srinagar to attract inbound tourism and increase arrivals from Southeast Asia which remains untapped," it reads.
In addition, Air Asia, the letter says will require the support from the ministry of finance India through the state government via a viability gap funding grant for this route to ensure "we can continue to operate until demand fully picks up and yields are sustainable, as with any new route". However, the source said that JK government's unwillingness has put it on hold. "I don't believe international flights will be operated from here," the source said.
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