Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Kolkata airport to restart operation tomorrow with ten flights

Kolkata: Ten flights will take off from Kolkata and the same number will operate at the Bagdogra airport near Siliguri on Thursday as Bengal gets reconnected to the domestic aviation grid after a two months. Domestic flights in other parts of the country started services on Monday.

The decision to restrict the flight count at Kolkata airport to 10 only follows a state government request to keep the number to the barest minimum, citing its immediate task of dealing with the post-Amphan crisis. Before international and domestic flights were suspended in March, Kolkata airport handled around 240 flights daily.

Regulator DGCA had initially asked airlines to start with one-third of the pre-Covid-19 capacity on the domestic sector. Around 80 flights were supposed to operate from Kolkata and cash-starved airlines were quick to start bookings. But with Cyclone Amphan wreaking largescale destruction in Kolkata and its suburbs, the state government sought to postpone the resumption of domestic flight operations and also requested for a reduced service count, citing stressed resources in dealing with multiple crises.

Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad have also put a cap on the number of flights. While Chennai has limited the number to 20 a day, Mumbai has capped it at 50.

The severely truncated schedule is likely to inconvenience passengers majorly as many flights that had previously been opened for booking will have to be cancelled. Confusion reigned till late on Tuesday, with airlines unable to reschedule flights or announce cancellations. Sources said IndiGo was likely to operate five flights, SpiceJet two and Air India, Air Asia and Vistara one each. “We will get to know about who will operate how many flights and to which destination only on Wednesday,” an airline official said, fearing confusion among flyers who may arrive at the airport to discover there was no flight.
27/05/20 Times of India
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