New Delhi — Alliance Air, the wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, today signed here an MoU with the North East Council (NEC) for flight operations in the Northeast under Viability Gap Funding (VGF) in the presence of the Minister for Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of State for DoNER (Indepedent charge), Gen (Retd) VK Singh and other senior officials.
Alliance Air will now provide air services to Shillong, Tezpur, Lilabari, Silchar and Guwahati with ATR 42 type of aircraft till 31 March 2016. The NEC will assist Alliance Air in obtaining concessions on ATF, landing, RNFC rates etc. The actual cost of operations shall be reviewed every three months based on the proposed cost and VGF amount will be fixed accordingly.
Alliance Air has been operating flights to the Northeast since January 2003, under the VGF scheme, which is a cost minus revenue formula, to cover losses on the operations in the Northeast. Alliance Air continued its services in the Northeast till 31 December 2012. While in operation, 65 flights were plying per week to the Northeast. However, from January 2013, due to outstanding VGF, the airline restructured its ATR operations in the region and consequently ATR services were discontinued on some routes. However, Alliance Air continued operations between Kolkata-Silchar, Kolkata-Guwahati and Silchar-Imphal with ATR aircraft. In July 2013, it also restored five times weekly flights on the Kolkata-Shillong route.
Besides the ATR operations, Air India has also been operating flights in the North East region with its Airbus family aircraft between Kolkata and Silchar, Dimapur, Dibrugarh, Aizawl, Imphal, Agartala and Guwahati, apart from Delhi-Guwahati routes.