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Five-year-old girl flags off Imphal-Shillong flight


Before the aerial connectivity service, the journey from Imphal took more than one day to reach Shillong.

TFM Kangpokpi Representative

The aerial connectivity between the capital cities of Manipur and Meghalaya commenced on Tuesday as the first direct flight Indigo 6E-7959 between Imphal and Shillong took off from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport, Imphal at 9:55 am after a little passenger girl from Churachandpur district cut the launching ribbon in a simple momentous occasion.

The long-awaited demand of the people of the Northeast region was accomplished under the government’s regional connectivity scheme RCS-UDAN.

A five-year-old little girl, Vahchoihoi Haokip from L Khengjang village, Leimata in Churachandpur district was with her parents to board the first-ever Imphal-Shillong flight when she was chosen for the historic ribbon-cutting to mark the launching of Imphal-Shillong flight service by Indigo airlines.

A Class I student of Loreto Convent, Shillong, Vahchoihoi Haokip also known as Eliana Haokip cut the ribbon in the presence of Indigo Airlines authorities and her parents amid cheers and claps from other passengers before boarding the flight.

It was not known as to why the little angel was chosen for the occasion, but it will remain a historic moment for her and India’s low-cost airline, Indigo. 

Indigo Airlines was awarded the Imphal-Shillong route during the UDAN 4 bidding process.

The lucky little angel, Eliana Haokip and her father Hengam Haokip, former leader of KSO-GHQ, and her mother Jessy Kikim Haokip, nursing officer at NEIGRIHMS with other passengers flew off the air from Bir Tikendrajit International Airport Imphal at 9:55 am and landed at Barapani Airport at 10:55 am.

Indigo had suspended its flight operations in Shillong for a few months possibly owing to the COVID-19 situation in the region after operating its flights from Shillong to Kolkata, Silchar, and Agartala before operating its first flight from Imphal on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Wednesday said that IndiGo has started operating flights on the Imphal-Shillong route under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, and it will be operating four flights in a week and will deploy its 78-seater ATR-72 aircraft while adding that currently, 66 UDAN routes are operational by IndiGo airline and Shillong is the second city to be connected with Imphal under the UDAN scheme.

It also said that owing to the non-availability of any direct mode of transportation, travellers were compelled to cover a long 12-hour journey by road to reach Shillong from Imphal or they had to take a flight to Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati, then bus service to reach Shillong.

Earlier, before the aerial connectivity service, the completion of the entire journey took more than one day to reach Shillong from Imphal or vice-versa. But now, travelers can easily fly between the two cities by opting for a flight of just 60 minutes from Imphal to Shillong and 75 minutes from Shillong to Imphal.

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