**Shimla: ** Union Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu on Thursday launched the regional air connectivity scheme UDAN-II in Himachal Pradesh by flagging off a 30-minute helicopter ride on the Shimla-Chandigarh route.
Priced at Rs 2,880, the thrice-a-week ride will be extended to six times a week after a fornight.
It will take off from Chandigarh at 10 a.m. and reach Jubbarhatti near Shimla at 10.30 a.m. The return ride will leave from Shimla at 10.55 a.m. and reach Chandigarh at 11.25 a.m.
The UDAN-I (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.
Speaking at the launch through video conference from New Delhi, Prabhu said the UDAN-II scheme would provide better air connectivity to the people of the state.
“It will also boost to tourism in the state, attracting more domestic and foreign tourists.”
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said, apart from Shimla-Chandigarh, UDAN-II scheme will also cover flights between Shimla and Kullu, and Shimla and Dharamsala.
He said the state had 63 helipads and two new heliports were coming up in Shimla and at Kangnidhar in Mandi district.