A statement from the office of the Chief Minister said, "The process to operationalise the flights is likely to be completed and flight operations would be started by January 2017."
According to the statement, Puducherry government has proposed to have air connectivity to and from nearby cities, mostly lying within 500 km radius, and "the cost of fare is going to be only Rs 2,500 which is certainly affordable."
The government felt that this would give a big boost not only to the flow of tourists into Puducherry but would also give a fillip to industrial investment in the Union Territory.
The statement claimed that it would pave the way for making flying affordable for the travellers.
Puducherry already has a modern and full-fledged airport although it is underutilised now, it said.
It described the inking of the MOU as a "historic phase of development in aviation sector for Puducherry." The release said the tripartite MoU was inked under "regional connectivity service".
Chief Secretary to Puducherry government Manoj Parida signed the MOU on behalf of Puducherry government while Joint Secretary to the Aviation Ministry Usha Padhee and member of the AAI A K Dutta were the other signatories.
Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, Tourism Minister Malladi Krishna Rao, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha and Secretary to the Aviation Ministry R N Choubey were among those present during the signing of the MOU, the release said.