SRINAGAR: In a much-needed boost to the tourism sector, night flight operations have started at Srinagar airport bringing cheers to the travel and hospitality sector in the Kashmir Valley.
The first direct evening flight of Indigo airline with 184 passengers onboard from Bangalore landed at Srinagar airport on March 29 which was warmly received by Director Tourism Kashmir Dr GN Itoo along with Director AAI, Srinagar and senior officers from the tourism department.
Both the evening and the direct flight from a major city like Bangalore will go a long way in attracting more tourists to the Valley.
Welcoming the development, Director Tourism Kashmir said evening and also direct flights from major cities will give a major fillip to the Valley’s tourism sector.
“We have been pursuing direct and the evening flights for a long time which has now got materialised. There are many travellers, especially business class who fly by evening flights to save time. These flights will further increase the tourists’ influx to Kashmir and boost JK’s economy,” said Dr GN Itoo.
Earlier also GoAir ran a test trial for evening flights and successfully landed at Srinagar. The GoAir has also announced non-stop operations from major cities including Ahmedabad.
Director Tourism Kashmir said with the introduction of the evening flights, around 42 flights operate at Srinagar airport on a daily basis. “We are hopeful that more airlines will follow the suit as we are expecting good tourist footfall in coming months. We have been promoting Kashmir’s varied tourism products among travellers through our marketing campaigns across many cities of the country. We received a good response and tourists are flying in good numbers.”
Notably, after the travel restrictions were eased in India, Kashmir has witnessed an overwhelming footfall of tourists, especially during winter months due to frequent snowfall which acted as a major attraction for the travellers.
The department also organised many festivals and events at Srinagar, Pahalgam, Sonmarg, Doodhpathri, Badamwari in addition to organising around 20 roadshows in different cities in the country which helped promote the JK tourism sector in a big way.