In a concerted effort from the government and the North Eastern Council, a carrier operated by Pawan Hans will commence airline and chopper service to the capitals of seven sister states. This move will address air-connectivity woes facing the Northeast.
The Modi government has cleared the deck for a dedicated airline, based out of Guwahati, to connect state capitals of the seven sister states. To be operated by Pawan Hans and North Eastern Council, the new airline will address issues related to air-connectivity, boosting movement of people and services.
Focus on augmenting infrastructure in the Northeast has been a key priority of the Modi government. In a new development that could alter the fate of half-baked air-connectivity of the Northeast with the rest of the country, the government plans on launching a new airline, headquartered at Assam’s capital, Guwahati. Aimed at connecting all Northeast state capitals, including Sikkim’s capital, Gangtok, with the rest of the country, the move is likely to lend a major boost to air-connectivity in the region.
The decision to create a new airline was taken in a meeting attended by all Chief Ministers of the Northeast and Department of North Eastern Region Minister (MDONER)Jitendra Singh.
The proposed airline company will be a subsidiary of Pawan Hans and, in all likelihood, will operate a fleet of 6 fixed-wing planes and 5 helicopters. The subsidiary with an equity of 150 crores will be owned by Pawan Hans and the North Eastern Council. Pawan Hans will hold a majority stake by owning 51 percent of the venture while rest 49 percent would be managed by the North Eastern Council.
The proposal for commencing operations has already been send to the ministry of Civil Aviation and the North Eastern Council for their consideration. As of now, based on the viability gap funding, Alliance Air provides air-connectivity to a handful of North Eastern state capitals. Aviation experts believe that the ‘tried and tested’ subsidiary model is likely to fetch handsome rewards for Pawan Hans, especially when it knows the region fairly well. Interestingly, it is for the first time that the government is launching a subsidiary to promote connectivity in the region.