ITANAGAR- Significant challenges have emerged for air connectivity in the region as Flybig Airline (S9) temporarily suspends its operations across the northeastern states.
The decision stems from the ongoing maintenance of the company’s aircraft in Kolkata and Hyderabad. Consequently, flight services have been halted connecting Hollongi, Guwahati (Assam), Guwahati-Pasighat, and Guwahati-Tezu.
A representative from Flybig shared that the anticipated delivery of larger aircraft, intended for deployment in the Hollongi-Guwahati sector, has not materialized as expected.
This particular sector stands out as one of the most successful in the entire Northeast region, consistently operating flights at full capacity. “Unfortunately, the awaited aircraft have not arrived, and the current fleet is undergoing substantial maintenance,” the Flybig official reported.
The initiation of Flybig’s flight service between Hollongi and Guwahati coincided with the state government’s decision to discontinue chopper services between Naharlagun and Guwahati.
The local populace is grappling with challenging circumstances with unavailable helicopter and flight services, particularly impacting medical transportation.
Swapnil M. Naik, Secretary of Civil Aviation, acknowledges individuals’ difficulties, stating, “We are aware that people who need medical attention are facing a lot of trouble. We will conduct a review meeting soon and if needed, will take action in the interest of the people.”
In January 2023, Flybig initiated its flight service between Guwahati and Hollongi. Subsequently, the state government decided to discontinue the helicopter service between Naharlagun and Guwahati starting April 1.
This decision was influenced by the diminished passenger turnout on this route following the launch of flight services from the Hollongi airport.
In response, the civil aviation department opted to relocate the base for the Naharlagun-Guwahati-Tawang helicopter service to Guwahati. Currently, the helicopter operates twice daily to Tawang from Guwahati, facilitating passenger transport.
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