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Tripura to start Agartala-Chittagong flight soon

He pointed out that the state government has almost finalized the aviation company for the route in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

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Agartala: The council of ministers in Tripura in a meeting on Tuesday decided to start the Agartala-Chittagong (seaport of southern Bangladesh) passenger flight service shortly, immediately after getting the necessary clearance from the external affairs ministry of India and Bangladesh, said Information Minister Sushanta Chowdhury.

Addressing the media Chowdhury said with the sanction from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Tripura cabinet headed by Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha decided on a fare cap of Rs 4500 for each trip to Agartala-Chittagong and the same price on the return journey to facilitate tourists and businessmen of both the countries considering the growing commerce in Southeast Asian region through Tripura via Bangladesh.

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“The state government has agreed to bear the viability gap funding of Rs 15 Cr per annum to the aviation company which would start the service in the international route from Agartala MBB airport thrice in a week. It is estimated, that each fleet will carry an average of 50 percent vacant but aviation companies wouldn’t run the flight unless getting the cost of those unoccupied seats, which we shall pay to make the service viable and sustainable,” Chowdhury said.

He pointed out that the state government has almost finalized the aviation company for the route in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Initially, responding to the Tripura government’s proposal to start air connectivity from Agartala, the center had allowed flights between Agartala and Dhaka or Agartala and Chittagong.

But after meticulous study, the Tripura government has decided to start service in the Chittagong sector in the first phase and the Dhak route would be considered later based on the passenger traffic and viability of the service. Accordingly, the state government decided on the fare with the
aviation company for each passenger and the remaining amount would be paid by the government, he mentioned.

A large number of Bangladesh passengers have been traveling from Agartala airport daily to other parts of the country, because of the proximity and affordable flight fares. The first logistic hub and SEZ of Northeast are being set up in South Tripura, about a 100 km distance from Chittagong seaport and the Agartala-Akhaura rail link would also be operational by this year, which widened the business opportunity of Tripura with South Asian countries.

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