The Ministry of Civil Aviation has approved the Srinagar-Sharjah flights to the extent of 5 flights per week regularly.
Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and observed that regular International flights between Srinagar and Sharjah will help in boosting trade and tourism.
The Lt Governor further noted that the UT administration, Ministry of Civil Aviation under Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation is taking necessary steps on priority to strengthen air connectivity to cater to the growing tourism and industry sectors.
Pertinently, the direct air link between the Kashmir and the UAE was revived after 11 years in October 2021 by Home Minister Amit Shah and the facility has immense potential to strengthen J&K's ties with the Gulf region, creating market linkages and enabling the direct export of J&K's Agriculture, Horticulture and Handicraft products.
The UT administration has taken several steps to ensure that air traffic to the Union Territory - Jammu, Srinagar airports would grow unhindered in the future. Jammu airport recently achieved a milestone by recording the highest ever footfall at 1.54 lakh passengers in the month of March on 1346 flights. Similarly, more than 5,85,653 tourists have visited the Kashmir valley between January to 27th April this year, which is 5 times more than the last year's figure of 1.26 lakh during the same period.
Flight suspended during the second week of April
Months after Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated Srinagar-Sharjah direct flight, it has been suspended, with the airline calling it a "management decision".
While launching the route on October 23 last year, Shah said the flight will help boost tourism in the UT and bring more investment to J&K.
It was reported that due to restrictions imposed by Pakistan, the flight was found to be economically unviable.
Amit Shah had flagged off the inaugural Srinagar-Sharjah direct flight on Oct 23
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on October 23, 2021, had flagged off the inaugural Srinagar-Sharjah flight from the Sheikh Ul-Alam international airport. The direct link between Valley and UAE was revived after 11 years. Shah had flagged off the flight virtually from the Raj Bhawan in Srinagar.
The first international flight from the Srinagar airport to Dubai was started on February 14, 2009, by Air India Express, but the once-a-week service was discontinued due to low demand.
Go First, formerly known as GoAir, is the first airline to start a direct international connection and direct international cargo operations from Srinagar. It is believed that the introduction of the direct flight to Sharjah will boost trade and tourism between Srinagar and the UAE.
The UAE and Srinagar are popular holiday destinations and Go First flights will meet the demand for convenient travel options. The new services will also support the growing trade and investment links with both Srinagar and Sharjah.