New Delhi: With Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on board, Alliance Air’s made-in-India Dornier 228 aircraft took its first commercial flight on Dibrugarh-Pasighat route on April 12. With this Alliance Air became India’s first commercial airline to fly Indian-made aircraft for civil operations.
In February, state run Alliance Air had signed an agreement with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited to lease two 17-seater Dornier 228 aircraft. The Dornier 228 is based on Do-228 being operated by the Indian Air Force and manufactured by HAL in India. Alliance Air is the regional division of Air India operating flights under the government’s RCS-UDAN scheme.
Alliance Air’s first flight between Dibrugarh in Assam and Pasighat in Arunachal Pradesh will boost connectivity in the north-eastern states. Regular flight operations are slated to start from April 18 on the Dibrugarh-Pasighat-Lilabari-Dibrugarh route. The services will be further expanded to Tezu, Mechuka, Ziro and Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh with the Dibrugarh airport as the hub station.
Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were present on the occasion of Dornier 228’s first flight and the flying training organisation’s opening. Till date, Dornier 228 planes are used by the armed forces only.
According to HAL, the versatile aircraft has the capabilities of short take-off and landing, ability to land and take-off from semi-prepared runways. The aircrafts will be deployed under the government’s ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) in the region called UDAN.