Srinagar- Low-cost carrier GO First, formerly known as GoAir, Monday announced the resumption of to & fro flights from Srinagar to Sharjah to strengthen international connectivity from Kashmir’s only civilian airport, starting by the end of this month.
“The airline has recently received the bilateral rights to operate five flights per week on the Srinagar-Sharjah-Srinagar route and the final approval is awaited,” the airline said in a statement.
Pertinently, the flight was flagged-off by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 23 last year, reviving the direct air link between the valley and the UAE after 11 years. “We declare it open from today. This will help in boosting tourism and bring more investment in the Union Territory,” the Home Minister had said at the inauguration event.
“Go First will resume scheduled direct flights between Kashmir and Sharjah from the end of June 2022,” the airlines said in the statement.
The Srinagar-Sharjah direct flight had been a runaway success for the economy of Jammu and Kashmir as the initiative had helped in boosting both tourism as well as trade here.
The Flight had also gained popularity among travelers of J&K who are residing in the Middle East besides a large number of international tourists had started visiting J&K directly from the UAE.
The Airlines used to operate the Srinagar-Sharjah flight under air bubble arrangement that was in place till March 26, 2022. However the arrangements were canceled when India resumed scheduled international passenger flights on March 27, 2022.
Notably, the UT administration in March this year had said that the Union Ministry for Civil Aviation had taken necessary steps on priority to strengthen air connectivity to cater to the growing tourism and industry sectors in Kashmir.
Meanwhile, the GoFirst airline has also said that it will also introduce five additional direct flights to and from Srinagar to Delhi and two additional flights between Leh and Delhi in order to cater to the additional demand from the upcoming Amarnath Yatra from June 30.
Pertinently, Go First currently operates nine flights daily between Delhi and Srinagar and five flights daily between Delhi and Leh.
“With the enhanced connectivity, these new flights will be offering travel options to the pilgrims,” the airlines said.
“Go First is honored to resume services between Srinagar and Sharjah. The service will improve international connectivity and cater to international travel. The Amarnath Yatra is commencing soon and we will make every effort to ensure a hassle-free and delightful travel experience for the pilgrims,” Kaushik Khona, Chief Executive Officer, Go First said.
Srinagar airport handles more than 2.3 million passengers every year. The central government on 6 October last year declared the Srinagar International Airport as a ‘major airport’.
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