Pathankot (Punjab), Apr 5 (PTI) Pathankot came under the civil aviation network today with Alliance Air operating its first flight from Delhi under the Centre’s regional connectivity scheme.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, accompanied by Punjab Congress president and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar, was at the airport to welcome the passengers on board the first flight that arrived at the airport from Delhi this afternoon.

The chief minister said that it was a red-letter day for the region, which had now got air connectivity with the rest of country. It is expected to give a boost to the region’s connectivity and tourism potential.

Being at the tri-junction of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, Pathankot would also get a huge boost to its tremendous tourism potential as a result of the launch of the flight, which would operate on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays every week, he added.

The chief minister said the government’s plans to develop an international-standard tourist destination at Pathankot-Dalhousie Road near Ranjit Sagar Lake would also give a huge fillip to the region’s tourism industry, as it was expected to draw more than 50,000 tourists annually.

The launch of today’s flight was the result of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Government of Punjab, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in the Government of India and Airports Authority of India on June 15, 2017, for starting flights under Regional Connectivity Scheme from Ludhiana, Adampur, Bathinda and Pathankot.

Under the MoU, there are four flights already in service in Bathinda (which is now connected to Delhi and Jammu) and two in Ludhiana (connecting to Jammu).

The government of Punjab and the government of India were working to start flights from Adampur Airport at the earliest, said the chief minister.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion were Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Vijay Sampla.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.