• Tell us by May 4 if flights to Shimla will be launched: Supreme Court

    The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday heard Air India’s plea in relation to launching of routes in non-metropolitan sectors, and in particular to Shimla’s Jubbarhatti airport. The matter comes as an appeal from a Himachal Pradesh Court order on December 7, 2015, directing Air India to begin scheduling flights to Shimla airport.

    The SC directed the competent authorities to tell it by May 4 whether air services to the Himachal Pradesh capital would be launched and warned of issuing an order if the answer is “no”. “If ‘no’ is the categorical answer, we will pass an order against those responsible for this,” the Bench said.

    The Bench also criticised the government’s approach in regulating flight schedules across sectors and drew attention to the obligation of providing 10 per cent of flights to Category-II routes as are deployed in Category-I sectors, according to the route dispersal guidelines.

    The court has listed the matter again on May 4 and directed the Civil Aviation Ministry and other competent authorities to tell the Bench before the next hearing whether air services to the Himachal Pradesh capital would in fact be launched. Fred Biletnikoff Jersey

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