Monday was a historical moment for Arunachal Pradesh, as the state's first fixed-wing commercial aircraft took off from Guwahati to Pasighat. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu was among the 25 passengers on board as the 42-seater ATR aircraft of the Alliance Airlines touched down at the Pasighat Airport after a 1.5-hour journey from the Lokpriya Bordoloi Airport in Guwahati.
Addressing a gathering at Pasighat, Khandu said, "It is a history in making. With this commercial flight, new vistas of economic development have opened in the region. Besides, the flight services will also open up ample opportunities for the tourism industry".
He also extented his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his efforts to put Arunachal on the aviation map.
Landed safely at Pasighat airport few minutes ago flying from Guwahati on Alliance Air. Proud to be part of this historic moment. I am extremely thankful to PM @narendramodi ji and @MoCA_GoI for connecting Arunachal with airways. @PMOIndia @BJP4India pic.twitter.com/jRUZWABjmX— Pema Khandu (@PemaKhanduBJP) May 21, 2018
CM Khandu also shared pictures of the aircraft along with the crew on his Twitter handle.
Flagged off the first commercial fixed wing flight @airindiain Air Alliance Guwahati to Pasighat from Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati. @narendramodi @PMOIndia @BJP4India @MoCA_GoI @jayantsinha @DCMChownaMein @TapirGao @KirenRijiju pic.twitter.com/9147O2vyjt— Pema Khandu (@PemaKhanduBJP) May 21, 2018
Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, will operate flight services on the Calcutta-Guwahati-Pasighat route thrice a week - on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Arunachal has enormous potential for generating hydro-power and producing a wide range of horticultural and agricultural products, but communication has always been a bottleneck in the state, Khandu said.
"Now, with the launch of the commercial flight, tourists from other states and foreign countries will be able to visit the picturesque locales of the state," he said.