IMPHAL, November 21: A milestone was achieved today in the aviation history of Manipur with the state’s Tulihal Airport entering the list of airport with international flight service. At 11:20 am, the first international flight, from Myanmar, with nearly 200 delegates for the Manipur Sangai Festival landed in Imphal.
The chartered Golden Myanmar Airlines flight which landed at Tulihal Airport from Mandalay, Myanmar was carrying 189 Myanmar citizens.
The aircraft brought two Chief Ministers from Sagaing region and Mandalay region of Myanmar along with four ministers and other officials and member of Meitei community residing at Mandalay who are going to participate at the Sangai festival.
The high-level team from the Manipur government led by chief minister O Ibobi Singh received the invitees and tourists from Myanmar and accorded them warm welcome at Imphal Airport.
Other members of the reception team were Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, Industries Minister K Govindas and Works Minister Kh Ratankumar as well as high ranking officials of the state.
Speaking after their arrival in Imphal airport Dr Myint Kyu Minister of Finance Mandalay said that they are very happy to be in Imphal as a part of Manipur Sangai festival delegation this year. It is a momentous moment for all us and Manipur in promoting the fair trade relation between the two countries, he stated adding that the friendship between the two countries will be consummate.
He added this is beginning we were looking forward to and in the coming years we will be taking parts in the future installments of the festival.
Paban Singh Ghatowar, Union Minister of Sate (Independent charge), Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region and Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Government of India reached Imphal earlier by an Indigo Airway at Tulihal Airport.
In the interaction with the media person, the minister said that Manipur is a jewel of India and we want to showcase the beauty, culture and heritage of Manipur.
“I am happy to learn that International tourist has arrived to enjoy the Manipur Sangai Festival” said the minister.
He added the promotion of tourism in Manipur will get priority and other development will follow naturally.
He assured that for the development of tourism , Manipur will received support from the Centre and from DoNER Ministry, Singh Gatowar said.
The Myanmarese visited healthcare centres of Manipur like Shija Hospitals and Research Institute, RIMS, JNIMS and Babina Diagnostics Centre just after they arrived in the state.
Mention may be made here that Airport Authority of India and Air India have decided not to charge any fee for landing and ground handling from the Myanmarese private airlines company as a gesture of nurturing better relationship.
It may be mentioned that the biggest annual tourism festival of the state, the 10-day long Manipur Sangai Festival begin today evening with the promise to showcase the rice cultural heritage, eco-adventure, indigenous food and Handicraft of the state to the visitors from within the state as well as national and international.