Dharamsala, April 7
IndiGo has postponed its plan to start a Dharamsala-Delhi flight from the Gaggal airport. Sources said the flight that was proposed by March-end had been deferred till May.
Already, four flights are being operated daily from Gaggal to Delhi. Two of the flights are being operated by Air-India and two by SpiceJet. One flight was being operated daily between Chandigarh and Dharamsala.
Sources said IndiGo was seeking early morning slot for landing at the Gaggal airport. Since the slots are already occupied by Air-India and SpiceJet, the airport authorities failed to provide airline the desired slot. IndiGo has decided to delay the launch till May.
Kangra DC Nipun Jindal said IndiGo authorities were in talks with the airport authorities. The flight was expected to start in May.
People were expecting that if the IndiGo flight starts from Dharamsala, it might bring down airfare. At present, the airfare between Dharamsala and Delhi is very high. During peak tourist season the airfare touches a high of Rs 22,000 for one way ticket. On an average, it ranges between Rs 6,000 and Rs 10,000 per trip. The airfares were higher on this route due to the small size of airstrip in Gaggal, making it fit for landing of just 70-seat aircraft. An aircraft can carry just 50 passengers at a time.
There was a proposal to expand the airstrip that would make it fit for landing of bigger aircraft. The Finance Commission has sanctioned Rs 400 crore for its expansion. However, the work for the land acquisition is yet to begin.
Early morning slot occupied
IndiGo was seeking an early morning slot to the Gaggal airport. Since the slots are already occupied by Air-India and SpiceJet, the airport authorities failed to provide it. However, IndiGo has decided to delay the launch till May.