With the swearing-in ceremony of newly-inducted Union ministers being conducted in New Delhi, the inauguration of first non-stop international flight from Visakhapatnam turned out to be a low-key affair with many dignitaries including ministers and other people’s representatives failing to make it to the inaugural function at the Visakhapatnam Airport here on Sunday.
Government whip and Visakhapatnam South MLA Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao formally inaugurated the flight operations by cutting a cake at the airport in the presence of the officials.
The first non-stop international flight MI 448 arrived at Visakhapatnam airport at 5.10 pm from Singapore Changi Airport terminal. After the inaugural function, it departed from Visakhapatnam at 10.55 pm on Sunday to arrive in Singapore at 5.55 am (Singapore local time) on Monday.
Speaking on the occasion, government whip and MLA Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao said that the operation of first non-stop international flight was realised due to the concerted efforts of people’s representatives, air travellers, media and the people of Visakhapatnam. He wished that more international airlines would start operating their flights from Visakhapatnam shortly and thus facilitate industrial and tourism development in and around the city.
MLAs T Vijaya Kumar and Malla Vijaya Prasad, Visakhapatnam collector V Seshadri, city police commissioner J Poornachandra Rao, Visakhapatnam Airport director K Srinivasa Rao were among the dignitaries who attended the event.
SilkAir chief executive Leslie Thng said that the flight would be operated thrice a week and the airliner was planning to operate more flights from different parts of India to Singapore. He said that the airliner was anticipating more demand for flight services in the future from business and leisure travellers.
On the occasion, the SilkAir announced a discount of Rs 6,000 on the to-and-fro airfare to Singapore in the first month.