SRINAGAR, Feb 19: Low cost airline carrier AirAsia started its operations here in summer capital from today with the launch of its morning and evening flights daily between Delhi and Srinagar.
The inaugural flight from New Delhi was received by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti at the Srinagar International Airport at 10 am. Another flight to New Delhi was also seen off by the Chief Minister soon after.
Manager of AirAsia in Srinagar said the Airlines is also planning to connect Srinagar to many other destinations in the country in coming days. The Chief Minister welcomed the airline carrier hoping it would augur well for the coming tourist season in the State and also facilitate local people with more connectivity to other cities in the country.
The Chief Minister, it may be mentioned here, has been pressing for operation of more morning and evening flights to and fro Srinagar to facilitate more air traffic and consequently promote tourism, said the official spokesman.
She has also been insisting on involvement of local youth in any of the project being started in the State and today on her insistence the airline has decided to recruit all its cabin crew and ground staff locally.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan; Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah Inspector General of Police, Kashmir zone, SJM Gillani; Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Mehmood Ahmad Shah; MD & CEO, AirAsia, Amar Abrol; Deputy Commissioner, Budgam, Mir Altaf Ahmad; SSP, Budgam, Abdul Waheed Shah, other senior officers and representatives of AirAsia were present on the occasion.
Secretary Tourism, Farooq A Shah, termed the launch of AirAsia one of the big leap in connecting Kashmir through this affordable budgeted international airline and hoped that it will increase seat capacity as well as the flying options to and fro the potential visitors to the Himalayan State and should result in the reduced airfare.
He further added that Tourism Department under the leadership of CM Mehbooba Mufti is “aggressively promoting the Jammu and Kashmir and doing all possible to make it a round the year affordable destination”. Farooq Shah said that the recent promotional programs have shown positive results in Delhi and across the country and people are keen to visit here in summers after the winter which witnessed good snow for skiers and other winter sporting.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Mehmood A Shah also termed this initiative as the best one as an additional facility for the potential tourists which can ultimately help in attracting more visitors to State and to Kashmir in particular.