The Queen of Hills, as Shimla was fondly called by the British colonial rulers, on Thursday finally got wings after a gap of nearly four years with a private airline starting regular flights.
State Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma flagged off the first flight from Shimla to Gaggal near Dharamsala, the abode of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.
Air Himalayas started this flight along with air service between Chandigarh-Shimla and Chandigarh-Kullu.
Shimla’s airport at Jubbarhatti, located 2,196 metres above sea-level, was shut for scheduled flights since September 6, 2012, affecting tourists and business travellers to the state. But airports at Kullu and Dharamsala in the state were functioning.
The nine-seater non-scheduled aircraft would operate a minimum of six flights per day on the Shimla-Dharamsala-Shimla, Dharamsala-Shimla-Chandigarh and Chandigarh-Kullu routes, a state government statement said.