SpiceJet becomes first airline to perform a civilian night landing at Port Blair, opening new horizons for the growth and development of the Andamans
SpiceJet, the country’s favourite low-cost carrier, accomplished yet another milestone after its flight SG-251 from Kolkata successfully carried out the first ever civilian airliner night landing at Veer Savarkar International Airport at Port Blair on September 11, 2015 at 6.10pm, 50 minutes after sunset at 5.20pm.
Under the command of Capt. Gurcharan Arora and Capt. Ranbir Singh, SpiceJet’s 212-seater Boeing 737-900ER aircraft VT-SLD was greeted upon arrival by a grand water cannon salute, an aviation tradition to mark key milestones.
The aircraft later departed for Kolkata at 6.45pm as SG-261, thereby completing a cycle of landing and take-off from the Port Blair airport during the night time.
The upgradation of the runway, lighting and navigation systems undergone at the Port Blair airport recently at the behest of Lt-Governor Lt-Gen AK Singh, has paved the way for attaining commercial night flying capability, something that had been sought by the residents of Andaman and Nicobar islands, and by visitors, for a long time.
“This is another landmark achievement to realise the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to increase connectivity to the remotest parts of India”, said Lt Gen AK Singh, Lieutenant Governor, Andaman and Nicobar Islands. “I congratulate SpiceJet for being the pioneering airline to undertake the night landing at Port Blair, and look forward to SpiceJet and other airlines now adding regular night landing flights to Port Blair providing more domestic connections, and introducing international connections as well ”, he added.
“We are extremely happy at being provided with the opportunity of conducting this history-making flight, and would like to extend my hearty congratulations to Capt. Gurcharan Arora and Capt. Ranbir Singh and their crew, as well as to the AAI, DGCA, airport officials at Port Blair, our flight operations, flight safety, and airport operations teams, and to everyone else involved in making this a success”, said Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, SpiceJet Ltd. “I especially want to thank Lt. Gen AK Singh, the Lt. Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, for his strong personal support and encouragement for this initiative. Port Blair is an important destination within our network with its strategic importance, scenic setting, deep history, and fascinating things to do and see, and the establishment of night operations facilities now allows us the opportunity of exploring more flight options connecting Port Blair. Residents of the islands will also benefit significantly from increased connectivity”, he concluded.
SpiceJet already operates daily direct flights from Port Blair to Kolkata and Chennai, with onward connections to dozens of more cities.