A year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Chandigarh international airport, the first international flight from here to Sharjah took off on Thursday. However, the mega event saw a twist with Haryana raising strong objection on Punjab Government claiming the airport to be as "Mohali" international airport.
The city got international connectivity with the arrival of an Air India flight from Sharjah and later on the inaugural departure flight took off to Sharjah this evening, in which Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal was onboard with a state level delegation headed for Dubai. Describing the maiden direct international flight from "Mohali International Airport" as a red letter day, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that it was a step further towards emerging the state as 'hub of air connectivity' thereby immensely benefiting the Punjabi diaspora settled across the globe. Interacting with the media persons on the sidelines of starting of the inaugural international flight, Badal said that it was a matter of great pride and satisfaction for the Punjabis that Punjab was the first in the northern region to have two international airports.
He said that this international Airport at "Mohali", second in the state after Amritsar, was result of persistent efforts made by the state government. He said that the commencing of international flights from this airport would give much needed boost to the economy of the state by connecting it with the rest of world. Badal thanked Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajpatti Raju and said that it was a magnificent gift of NDA government to the Punjabis settled across in different parts of the world as it would enable them stay well connected with their roots. However, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar raised strong objection to Punjab claiming the airport to be as "Mohali" international airport and shot off a demi-official letter to his Punjab counterpart Badal.