"You file a status report as to the feasibility of air service connecting Shimla with Chandigarh and Delhi," a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur said while asking Air India's Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD) to place the report within six weeks.

The bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, ordered maintenance of status quo on the December 7, 2015 direction passed by the Himachal Pradesh High Court asking Air India, Airports Authority of India and others concerned to start scheduled flights on trial basis from Jubbar-Hatti airport, 22 km from Shimla.

Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Air India's CMD, submitted that the loss-making airline is examining the suggestions to at least connect Shimla and Chandigarh with 40-seater aircraft as the runway at Jubbar-Hatti Airport is very small.

It was told that private players like Jet Airways have refused to operate on the route.

At the outset, the bench wanted to know from the Solicitor General whether Air India has any plan of connecting Shimla with Chandigarh and New Delhi.

The senior law officer explained various constrains, including the non-avaibility of refuelling facility in Shimla and certain security hazards. He also said the issue of economic viability was also there.

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