file photo of SpiceJet Bombardier Q40 trial landing at Pakyong Airport on 10th of March 2018.
File photo of SpiceJet Bombardier Q40 trial landing at Pakyong Airport on March 10, 2018. Photo: Northeast Now

Gangtok:  Budget carrier SpiceJet has decided to suspend operations in the hill state from October 30 due to “operational constraints”.

According to a spokesperson of the budget airline, bad weather and low visibility were two bottlenecks that had led to operational constraints.

SpiceJet is the only carrier that runs daily flights to and from the greenfield airport in Sikkim’s Pakyong

“SpiceJet flights to and from Pakyong airport have been temporarily suspended with effect from October 30, 2022 due to operational constraints owing to the bad weather condition and low visibility at Pakyong,” said a pokesperson of SpiceJet.

“Pakyong is a VFR (Visual Flight Rules) airport and does not have instrument landing facilities. The required minimum to operate from this airport is 5,000 feet, which is difficult to achieve on most days in a year, especially during the winter months. To avoid inconvenience to our passengers, flight operations have been temporarily suspended. We will share an update once the services resume,” the spokesperson added.

A notice to this effect by the airline has been put up at the reception and the ticket counter of the airport.

An airport official said on the condition of anonymity that Spice Jet has suffered significant losses during the monsoon season when the carrier had to cancel flights due to bad weather.

The airline, which started operations from the table-top airport in 2018, currently operates daily direct flights to Delhi and Kolkata.

Officials said the service withdrawal will not just inconvenience locals, who avail flight services as and when available, besides adversely affecting the tourism industry in the land-locked state.

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