Thursday, March 02, 2017

Longer flying time a handicap for direct flights to Europe

Kolkata: The city's location, often touted as an advantage due to its proximity to SouthEast Asia, is actually a handicap in attracting direct flights to Europe. For unlike Delhi and Mumbai, which are barely 10 hour flight from London, the 12hour time between Kolkata and London pushes it just beyond the deadline that can allow an aircraft to do a return trip within the same day.
"An international flight requires two-hour turnaround time. Thus a flight to Europe from Delhi or Mumbai can return the same day. But for Kolkata to have a daily service, an airline will have to put two aircraft on the sector. That may not be viable at present," said Jet Airways vice-president (commercial) Praveen Iyer.
Air India operated a direct flight from the city to London a decade ago, but it wasn't a daily service. Lufthansa also withdrew services from Kolkata as it could not introduce a daily frequency. While passenger load has never been a problem, deploying two aircraft to do a daily flight on a route with low yields due to poor occupancy of premium seats has prevented European carriers from venturing into Kolkata. Lack of business in the east has not helped the cause.
02/03/17 Times of India