After a gap of about three years, flight services resumed from the Union Territory, with launch of services between Puducherry and Hyderabad this morning.
Chief Minister V Narayanasamy accorded a warm reception to passengers on their arrival at Puducherry airport in neighbouring Lawspet by private carrier Spicejet.
He had earlier inaugurated the daily flight service by lighting the traditional lamp on the premises of the airport linking Puducherry with Hyderabad and Vijayawada.
Narayanasamy handed over to each of the 78 passengers boarding passes for the newly introduced service to Hyderabad.
Accompanied by his cabinet colleagues, Chief Secretary Manoj Parida, Deputy Speaker V P Sivakolundhu and legislators belonging to the ruling Congress and DMK and AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP N Gokulakrishnan, the Chief Minister presented gift hampers and garlands when 74 passengers landed at the airport.
Flight services were resumed following an agreement inked between Spicejet and the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to operate daily flight services from here to Hyderabad and Vijayawada
Later, Narayanasamy told reporters that Spicejet had come forward to operate the scheme under the centrally- sponsored UDAN scheme for regional air connectivity.
He said that with the introduction of flight services, passengers proceeding to Hyderabad would be saved the trouble of a tedious journey if they preferred to go by road or by proceeding to Chennai for a connecting flight.
"We have brought into effect flight services overcoming several hurdles," he said without elaborating.
"The resumption of flight services is in keeping with the arrangements the Union Civil Aviation Ministry had made.
The purpose for resumption of air service is to promote tourism and to attract businessmen and investors to Puducherry, the Chief Minister said.
The previous AINRC regime had not initiated full-fledged steps to utilise the airport here, he alleged.
Expansion of the runway would be taken up as soon as land sought from neighbouring Tamil Nadu was available, he added.
Further, the Chief Minister said that flight services from Puducherry to Bengaluru, Kochi, Tirupati and Coimbatore would be started soon.
"We also have proposal to link Puducherry with New Delhi," he added.
"Similarly, the government's initiative to develop Puducherry port as a satellite port of Chennai Port Trust is also a centrally-sponsored project. Dredging of the estuary for navigation of vessels has been completed," Narayanasamy said.
He said the port's development was intended to promote employment opportunities and for cargo transactions to enhance the state government's revenues.
The daily flight from Hyderabad would arrive in Puducherry at 11.20 a.m. In the return direction, it would depart from here at 11.40 a.m and reach Hyderabad at 1.10 p.m.