The northeastern state of Tripura is set to witness its first-ever international flight service with low-cost carrier SpiceJet introducing its flight from Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport to Chittagong in Bangladesh by the first week of June. The announcement was made by Tripura Transport Minister Sushanta Chowdhury during a press conference on Tuesday.
Chowdhury stated that necessary clearances for immigration and customs are expected to be approved by the first week of June, paving the way for the launch of the international flight service. The move comes after Tripura Chief Minister Manik Saha had met Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia in Delhi and requested him to boost air connectivity in the state.
The civil aviation ministry has already taken steps to boost air connectivity in Tripura, with Kailashahar airport among 50 facilities shortlisted under the Regional Connectivity Scheme in response to the Chief Minister’s request. The ministry has also requested the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to resurvey the security arrangements for night flight services from Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport.
To introduce night flight service from the airport, an additional 143 CISF personnel are required. However, on the demand for introducing direct flights from Agartala to Mumbai and Hyderabad routes, Chowdhury stated that the ministry cannot ask any airline to introduce flight service on particular sectors.
Meanwhile, the state has decided to install a bronze statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram at the new terminal building, which was built at a cost of Rs 520 crore. The present statue of Maharaja Bir Bikram is installed at the old terminal building, which cannot be shifted to the new one. The Agartala Arts College has been assigned to make a new bronze sculpture of Maharaja Bir Bikram at a cost of Rs 25 lakh.
The launch of the first international flight service from Agartala to Chittagong is expected to boost tourism and business in Tripura, and pave the way for more international flight services from the state. With the civil aviation ministry’s efforts to boost air connectivity in the state, Tripura is poised to become a major hub for air travel in the northeastern region.