Two new air routes connecting Kullu and Shimla with Amritsar will be made operational soon, an official statement issued on Wednesday said.
While the Kullu to Amritsar flights will begin from October 1, the route from Shimla to Punjab city is scheduled to be operational from November 1, it said.
About 50 per cent of the seats on this route will be subsidised seats, with airfares at Rs 2,637 for the Kullu to Amritsar route and Rs 3,284 from Amritsar to Kullu.
Direct flights from Shimla to Amritsar will also operate three times a week. The schedule and airfares for this route is yet to be decided, the statement said.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the tourism industry plays a crucial role in providing employment opportunities for the youth of Himachal Pradesh and contributes significantly to the state’s revenue and the state government is committed to enhancing air connectivity and establishing heliports to stimulate tourism and economic development in the region.
The state government is committed to promoting tourism and civil aviation, emphasising the expansion of air connectivity to key tourist destinations, he said.
Apart from the already existing three airports at Jubbarhatti (Shimla), Bhuntar (Kullu), and Gaggal (Kangra), efforts are underway to expand the Kangra airport to further enhance the state’s air connectivity and ease the landing of bigger planes, Sukhu said.
Additionally, the state has developed new heliports in Shimla, Baddi, Rampur, and Kangnidhar (Mandi), with plans for another heliport in Manali to further facilitate travel to and within Himachal, he said.
The chief minister also highlighted the significance of Amritsar international airport, which serves as a major hub connecting various domestic and international destinations.
He said the introduction of these new flights is expected to benefit both domestic and international tourists.