Srinagar: Notwithstanding an earlier announcement of the authorities that the Srinagar-Sharjah flight will begin operations from June 1, anxious travellers are irked as this service is yet to take off. As a result many travellers on Wednesday took to Twitter and expressed concern over delay in commencement of the flight.
A netizen, who is a civil engineer by profession while replying to a Tweet of the Srinagar Airport Director said: “Thanks a lot for the update. I hope now SHJ-SXR flights will start soon. Will it be 1st June or dates have changed (sic),”.
“Waiting for the confirmation start of direct flights between sharjah and srinagar. Still there has been no official confirmation by @GoFirstairways on when they will start operations (sic),” he wrote on Twitter.
Another angry frequent traveller also took to Twitter and wrote: “June 1st ?? We expect you to pass on credible info only. Such wrong info causes serious disruptions to hundreds. It’s vacation time in Gulf, you are only procrastinating. ( sic),”
Meanwhile, when contacted and asked whether the Srinagar-Sharjah flight as promised had started on June 1 or not, Director, Airports Authority of India ( AAI) Srinagar, Kuldeep Singh told Greater Kashmir:
“No, We had approved the schedule. The slots are available but the airline has not commenced the flights yet,”
However, while replying to a prospective traveller, Kuldeep Singh wrote on Twitter: “The Government has approved the slots from June 1. Hopefully the airlines will soon commence the operations. Kindly bear with us,”.
It may be mentioned that after being grounded for the last few months due to less demand from travellers and then regulatory issues, Srinagar- Sharjah direct flight as per officials was scheduled to resume operations from June 1.
The direct flight service, which was flagged off by Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 23 last year, had witnessed several roadblocks.
First the denial of airspace from Pakistan followed by a sharp decrease in passenger occupancy in January this year, had derailed the flight operations of the direct service.
The resumption of the flights on Srinagar-Sharjah was poised to boost trade and tourism between J&K and the UAE. “UAE and Srinagar are popular holiday destinations and Go First flights will usher convenient travel options. These services will also support burgeoning trade and investment links between Srinagar and Sharjah,” a statement issued by the airline GoFirst had said last month. However, the airline spokesman, while not giving a proper time frame for commencement of the flight, told Greater Kashmir that “it ( flight operations) will start soon.”