In a move which would eventually have an adverse affect on the tourism in Himachal Pradesh, the only serving airlines in Himachal Pradesh, Kingfisher has stopped it’s operations on Delhi – Shimla and Delhi – Kullu sector without any notice.
While the national carrier Air India had already suspended it”s operations to Himachal Pradesh since July, Kingfisher, as per sources have already given notices to it’s ground handling staff that there services would not be required since airlines had stopped it’s flights to Shimla and Kullu airport.
Despite Himachal getting a record number of tourists every year, air routes to Himachal Pradesh remain allegedly non profit for the airlines due to the absence of landing facility for bigger aircrafts anywhere in the state. Only Dornier planes with limited seat facility have been flying into Himachal Pradesh due to which the fares remained high for the tourists through out the year. Tourists have preferred to travel by road and rail while visiting Himachal Pradesh.
Due to absence of proper aviation and even rail network in Himachal Pradesh neighbouring Chandigarh has now become a major hub for tourists traveling to Himachal Pradesh. Over 30 flights arrive into Chandigarh daily from all over India. Tourists prefer to travel to fly into Chandigarh and then travel to Himachal Pradesh by road. Srinagar airport also have over 20 regular flights arriving daily making it easier for tourists to fly into Kashmir.
Absence of air connectivity to two most popular destinations of Shimla and Manali will be death knell to tourism in these two sector. With holiday season just starting for Diwali and New Year season, people in travel sector are a worried lot.
Source: Himachal Taxi Blog