Srinagar: A long wait is finally over. Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the first direct international flight between Srinagar and Sharjah and United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Saturday evening here.
Director Srinagar International Airport Kuldeep Singh said the flight has 159 passengers onboard. “42 have boarded from Delhi and 117 passengers boarded from Srinagar. The flight is on the way,” Singh said.
It is worth mentioning that this is Shah’s first visit to the union territory since the abrogation of Article 370 in August 2019.
The flight time is around 4 hours and 30 minutes.
International flights were scheduled to set off in Srinagar from today, following a meeting between top officials involved in the union territory’s administration.
This comes nearly a month after Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that efforts are on to start international services in Srinagar, adding that it will give a boost to the development of the union territory. He had also said on September 25 that the terminal at the Srinagar airport will be expanded from 25,000 square metre to 63,000 square metre.
There will be an investment of ₹1,500 crore at the Srinagar airport, while ₹600 crore will be spent on the Jammu airport.
Meanwhile, in a meeting on Monday, Divisional Commissioner of Kashmir, Pandurang K Pole discussed necessary arrangements needed to put in place and management of passengers at Srinagar airport in view of Covid pandemic.