Shimla: In a move which would eventually have an adverse affect on the tourism in Himachal Pradesh, the only serving airlines in Himachal Pradesh, Kingfisher has stopped it’s operations on Delhi – Shimla and Delhi – Kullu sector without any notice.
While the national carrier Air India had already suspended it”s operations to Himachal Pradesh since July, Kingfisher, as per sources have already given notices to it’s ground handling staff that there services would not be required since airlines had stopped it’s flights to Shimla and Kullu airport.
Despite Himachal getting a record number of tourists every year, air routes to Himachal Pradesh remain allegedly non profit for the airlines due to the absence of landing facility for bigger aircrafts anywhere in the state. Only Dornier planes with limited seat facility have been flying into Himachal Pradesh due to which the fares remained high for the tourists through out the year. Tourists have preferred to travel by road and rail while visiting Himachal Pradesh.
In the absence of proper aviation and even rail network in Himachal Pradesh neighbouring Chandigarh has emerged a major hub for tourists traveling to Himachal Pradesh. Over 30 flights arrive into Chandigarh daily from all over India. Tourists prefer to fly into Chandigarh and then travel to Himachal Pradesh by road.
In neighbouring Jammu & Kashmir, Srinagar airport also oversees close to 20 regular flights arriving daily making it easier for tourists to fly into Kashmir providing a boost to tourists arrival in the state.
Himachal Govt. has remained a mute spectator over the years and have taken no concrete steps to improve air and rail connectivity in the state. The BJP led Himachal Government has failed miserably in providing regular air connectivity to the state nor it has been able to provide a concrete plan for an alternative bigger airport over the past five years.
This delay in policy formation would definitely lead to death knell of tourism industry in the future years in Himachal Pradesh.