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Guwahati to Dhaka direct flight service put on hold indefinitely

THE ASIAN AGE. | MANOJ ANAND
Published : Sep 30, 2019, 6:20 am IST
Updated : Sep 30, 2019, 6:20 am IST

SpiceJet, one of the leading low-cost flight operators of the country, suspended the operations last week due to lack of ‘commercial viability’.

The SpiceJet officials who expressed their inability in stating anything on record, however, confirmed that the airline has suspended its operations to Bangladesh for an indefinite period.
 The SpiceJet officials who expressed their inability in stating anything on record, however, confirmed that the airline has suspended its operations to Bangladesh for an indefinite period.

Guwahati: In what has raised serious question over the Central government’s ambitious International UDAN scheme, the much talked about Guwahati-Dhaka flight services has been suspended within three months of its launch.

SpiceJet, one of the leading low-cost flight operators of the country, suspended the operations last week due to lack of ‘commercial viability’.

Though the airline has suspended the flight operations for an indefinite period, sources in the industry said that there was hardly any possibility of flight services being resumed in near future.

The first flight between Guwahati and Dhaka under the Central government’s ambitious International UDAN programme was flagged off on July 1, this year from the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport by Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who had termed the day as historic.

Pointing out that the airline has cited ‘operational reasons’ behind the decision to suspend the direct flight between Guwahati and Dhaka till further notice, sources in the Airport Authority of India said that they have not been informed about the exact reasons.

The AAI, which also keep a watch on occupancy ratio of the airlines said that the SpiceJet was flying the 72-seater aircraft that had on an average 60 to 65 per cent occupancy.

Refusing to divulge anything on record sources said “After it had launched the service, the SpiceJet had first reduced the frequency of the flight service from daily to twice a week. Finally, in the wake of lukewarm response, it decided to suspend its operation on the route.”

The suspension of flight to Dhaka is also major setback to Act East policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was pushing to connect six South East Asian destination to from Guwahati under UDAN scheme.

Bangladesh and Bhutan governments have already set up their consulates in Guwahati and 10 Asean nations are expected to follow suit soon.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who recently flagged off another international flight of Nok Air between Guwahati and Bangkok, had reiterated, “After the direct flight between Guwahati and Dhaka and Guwahati-Bangkok, the government is now looking to connect all the capitals of Asean countries.” He was of view that extension of airline route to South East Asian destinations had many ramifications in reinforcing the cultural and economic ties between Northeast and south East Asian countries.

The SpiceJet officials who expressed their inability in stating anything on record, however, confirmed that the airline has suspended its operations to Bangladesh for an indefinite period.

Tags: udan, guwahati-dhaka