Jagson Airlines's helicopter service to Mansarovar

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New Delhi, Jan 10 (UNI) Jagson Airlines would soon start flights to Pant Nagar and Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand and a helicopter service to Kailash Mansarovar in China, reducing the travel time for the Mansarovar yatra from 14 days to two days.

''We are holding talks with the Uttarakhand Government, and as soon as the negotiations are finalised we will start the flights within 60 days,'' Jagson Airlines Chairman J P Gupta told a press conference.

The flight will be from Delhi to Pant Nagar, and from there the helicopter will take the pilgrims to the China border, he said.

About the fares, he said the tarrif would be affordable.

Mr Gupta said the plan to start air service to Uttarakhand was chalked out following the No Objection Certificate (NOC) given by the Civil Aviation Ministry to operate regional schedule airline.

This, he said, would allow the Airlines to get concession in the aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

He said the Airlines would acquire six more 60-70 seater aircraft and a 26-seater MI-172 helicopter in 2008 as part of its expansion plan.

''Some will be bought and some will be acquired on lease,'' he added.

The Airlines already has three such aircraft and two 26-seater helicopters.

He said the NOC would allow the Airlines to fly to different regions from Delhi, accept the metros.

Asked why the Airlines was concentrating on religious places-- with direct flights from Juhu, Mumbai, to Shridi already started-- Mr Gupta said religious places were not getting much attention like commercial places such as the metros.

On starting air services to other regions, he said the Commercial Department was chalking out plans with special focus on places that were not connected by air, or not properly connected by train or where other airlines had not set up base.

He said the Ministry had also approved inclusion of eminent personalities on the Airlines' Board of Directors.

They are Mr Probir Chandrasen, former CMD of Indian Airlines and Ex-Managing Director of Air India; Mr R C Jain, former advisor to Jammu and Kashmir Governor; and Mr Vinod Vaish, former chairman of Telecom Commission.

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