Chandigarh: The Chandigarh International Airport on Thursday actually became international when a flight carrying 182 passengers took off from Chandigarh to Sharjah at 6.35 pm.This was the first flight from the Chandigarh International Airport to an overseas destination.
Flights to Singapore and Bangkok will start next year and both the flights would operate twice a week.
Domestic budget carrier IndiGo will also be starting a daily flight between Chandigarh and Dubai.
Union civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju said Air India will start a flight from Chandigarh to Singapore in March.
He also said civil aviation is the fastest-growing industry in India.
“Sky is the limit now for Punjab and all Punjabis putting across the world. In India, civil aviation is the fastest-growing industry at 20% a year,” Raju said.
Calling the airport “a magnificent gift of the NDA government to Punjabis settled in different parts of the world, the aviation minister said it will enable them (Punjabis) to stay well-connected with their roots”.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal were also present at the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Sukhbir Singh Badal said starting of international flights was one of the main election promises.
“We always wanted to connect Punjab with the rest of the world. This is a historic day. This initiative would go a long way in propelling IT and tourism sector in the state. It will serve Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Punjab and major parts of Haryana,” he said.