Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 23 (ANI): Union Home Minister Amit Shah flagged off the first international flight services from Srinagar to Sharjah on Saturday.
India's low-cost airline Go First on Saturday became the first airline to launch direct flights from Srinagar to Sharjah.
The inaugural flight was flagged off by Shah from the Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar with a full contingent of passengers in the presence of Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and other dignitaries.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia virtually attended the event from New Delhi.
"The direct flight from Srinagar to Sharjah is going to start, as you know that many of our people are settled in the Gulf countries. Many people want to come from Sharjah because of tourism. By direct flight to Srinagar, people will get benefits in the field of tourism. This is the golden opportunity for Jammu and Kashmir. I am happy to announce that from today itself Srinagar airport is going to be converted into a practical international airport," Shah told reporters.
Kaushik Khona, the Chief Executive Officer, GO FIRST believes that the operation of flights will support growing trade and investment and boost tourism.
"Having been in operation here for over 15 years, we at GO FIRST share a special relationship with the region and are committed to its growth. We are delighted to be the first airline to connect Jammu and Kashmir with UAE and it bears testimony to our commitment to the region. We believe that this connectivity will be pivotal in bilateral exchange of trade and tourism between the two regions," Khona said while speaking on the development.
There are strict guidelines and protocols for every international traveller amid the COVID pandemic and it is necessary to undergo a proper COVID Rapid and RT-PCR test which has been established by the Ministry of Health and it is mandatory that all international travellers especially those who are in travelling to United Arab Emirates and Gulf countries are going due to negative reports of COVID.
After the success of India's first COVID-19 testing laboratory at New Delhi International Airport in September 2020, Genestrings, a molecular Diagnostics company is elated to add another feather to its cap by setting up Jammu and Kashmir's first RAPID PCR testing lab at the Srinagar airport.
"This state-of-the-art lab at the Srinagar airport was set up in just 5 days with complete NABLICMR approvals. This test is needed by UAE for all departures from India. Passengers are required to report 6 hours prior to departure and reports will be handed over in 30-60 minutes from the sample collection. We are thankful to the support extended by AAI and Go Air in this endeavour of setting up this lab in record time and adverse circumstances," Dr Gauri Agarwal, Founder and Director Genestrings Diagnostic told ANI.
GO FIRST will operate four flights every week between Srinagar and Sharjah. The direct flights from Sharjah will offer seamless connections to Srinagar and beyond to Chandigarh, Delhi, Jammu, Leh and Mumbai and vice versa. (ANI)