North East India is a magical destination with undulating hills and plains covered in a luxuriant green cover, and having a wide variety or rare and exotic flora and fauna. However, it is still a place that is not very popular amongst an average Indian traveller. North East is still considered an offbeat destination to visit and one of the major reasons for that is the lack of connectivity from many major Indian cities. However, that is soon going to change.
Air Deccan, the low-cost airline, is starting flights in North East India under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Har Nagrik) Scheme. From 15th December 2017, Air Deccan will use Shillong as a hub and connect Agartala, Aizawl and Imphal with Shillong. There will also be a flight between Kolkata and Agartala. The fares of the flight will be capped at ₹2,500 per person and the flights will not be more than an hour long. These fares and flying hours are possible because of the Centre's UDAN scheme, where flights to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities will fly at low rates, and in return, the government will provide subsidy for flying with such low fares.
The low cost carrier (LCC) will use an 18-20 seater aircraft to carry out the operations, as reported by Shillong airport director M.K. Nayak. The director also added, that since Shillong will be becoming a regional hub, Airports Authority Of India (AAI) has provided facilities for refuelling aircraft.
This will definitely promote tourism in North East but once you fly to these destinations, what about the on-ground support? That is where NE Taxi comes in.
NE Taxi is a tourist taxi aggregator that lets you book customised trips via its website and mobile app, up to a year in advance. Started by Gangtok-based, 23-year old Rewaj Chettri, the app is a blessing for those who have been avoiding travelling to North East because of lack of convenient travel options. Chettri's goal is to provide safe and easy travel across the seven sisters of North East and Sikkim. NE Taxi currently provides three kinds of services — outstation, sightseeing, and travel packages. Tourists can book outstation taxis in two variants — reserved and shared (called NEShare). Using the sightseeing option, tourists choose places of interest while booking the taxi. As part of travel packages, NE Taxi provides cabs that stay with the tourists during their days of travel in a particular region. The startup started with six cars in Shillong in 2013 but now has 800 vehicles in 65 destinations, and has done over 15 lakh trips in last four years.
With the help of flights from Air Deccan and on-ground travel provided by NE Taxi, North East India isn't a far-off destination anymore. So, plan your travel to North East right now, and before you go, here's all you need to know about exploring the area in 10 days.