Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on wee hours of Sunday morning flagged off the first Guwahati-Bangkok direct flight.
The flight was flagged off from Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati.
Sonowal said the introduction of the flight will strengthen the bilateral relations Assam and Thailand.
“It is not just an extension of airline route but more importantly a futuristic gesture,” the CM said.
“It will go a long way in reinforcing the cultural and economic ties between the two nations,” he added.
He further said connectivity has always remained a major bottleneck in the optimum realization of the growth prospects of the region.
“To remove this bottleneck, the Centre has taken up steps to connect six Southeast Asian destinations with Guwahati,” he added.
This initiative has been taken under UDAN scheme.
The flight service has been introduced by Nok Air.
It has drafted its sorties to enable passengers to reach the Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok in less than three hours.
This has been done keeping in mind to offer a convenient connection to both business and leisure travellers twice a week.
Guwahati-Bangkok flight service was on the cards since the past few years.
Its introduction will certainly be of great help for the people of both nations.
“Very soon flights connecting to Kathmandu, Yangon, Hanoi and Kuala Lumpur will also commence,” CM informed.
Last year DrukAir – Royal Bhutan Airlines introduced Paro-Guwahati-Singapore flight.
“The Centre has also decided to bring Northeastern cities, including five in Assam, under UDAN-2,” the CM added.
“This initiative would significantly facilitate regional air connectivity by making air travel affordable for the masses,” he said.
Centre aims to turn LGBI airport as a transit airport, connecting the whole of Southeast Asia.
The LGBI airport has undergone numerous expansions and renovations since its establishment in 1958.
It handled more than 3.7 million passengers in 2017, an increase of 36 per cent from 2016.
The airport has witnessed annual traffic increase of over 23 per cent in 2018-19 with a total footfall of 5.7 million passengers.
The existing terminal building at the airport has a maximum handling capacity of 850 arrival/departure passengers an hour.