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Budget carrier IndiGo on Tuesday successfully test-landed its aircraft at the newly-constructed Donyi Polo airport or the Hollongi airport in Arunachal Pradesh's Itanagar. The move is a significant milestone to boost connectivity in the northeast regions.
The air connectivity of Arunachal Pradesh will begin on October 28, ANI reported. The foundation stone of the Donyi Polo Airport was laid in 2019. Situated nearly 14 km south of the city centre, the airport will serve Itanagar. The airport has been built to design narrow-body aircraft which can carry about 200 passengers.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Donyi Polo airport. The move aims to boost tourism and strengthen the security of Arunachal Pradesh, as it shares international borders with three countries, namely- China, Myanmar, and Bhutan. The date for the inauguration, however, has not been fixed.
According to Livemint, the critical works required for operating the airport are complete. Once the airport becomes operational, Indore-based airline flybig is also likely to begin flights between Itanagar and Guwahati. IndiGo is also likely to connect Itanagar with Kolkata and Guwahati. A direct flight between Delhi and Itanagar is also expected in the upcoming months.
In an interview, Abhijit Dasgupta, head of network planning at IndiGo, told LiveMint that NorthEast is strategically important to us. He added that IndiGo remains one of the few carriers who have successfully expanded in the northeast.
With the impetus being on Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme, the airport aims to mark a new beginning for Arunachal Pradesh. Currently, the nearest airport to Itanagar is North Lakhimpur airport, situated in Assam, about 57 km away. Tourists visiting Arunachal have to travel from North Lakhimpur airport in Assam.
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First Published: Wed, October 19 2022. 19:37 IST