Meghalaya examining offers from private airlines

The Meghalaya government is looking into offers from private airlines for flights between Shillong and Kolkata after the government-owned Alliance Air stopped its services, a minister said Monday.

"We have received offers from private airlines to operate flights between Shillong and Kolkata and the government is examining it," Transport Minister H.D.R. Lyngdoh told journalists.

Alliance Air, a subsidiary of national carrier Air India, stopped its services June 1 due to irregular payment of the viability gap funding by the North Eastern Council (NEC).

"We have also sought a status report from Alliance Air on its decision to withdraw services between Shillong and Kolkata," Lyngdoh said.

He said the state government would also take up the matter with the civil aviation ministry after receiving the report.

The NEC, a regional planning body for the eight northeastern states, had requested Alliance Air to continue the Shillong-Kolkata flight service until October, and had assured that the necessary viability gap funding would be provided.

"We have requested Alliance Air to continue services until the end of the summer schedule (Oct 25), for which the council would provide the necessary viability gap funding," said NEC adviser for transport and communication P.K.H. Singh.