Monday, September 28, 2020

Flights to Kolkata resume ahead of Durga Puja

Airport authorities have resumed flight services to Kolkata ahead of upcoming Durga Puja, one of the largest festivals of the Bengali community during which several thousand residents of Jharkhand travel to West Bengal to participate in festivities with family and friends, officials said on Sunday.

“We have resumed four weekly flights to Kolkata ahead of Durga Puja. A high demand for flights to Kolkata is anticipated during the festive season,” said Director of Birsa Munda Airport in Ranchi, Vinod Sharma.

Sharma added that the new flights to Kolkata, run by Indigo Airlines, take off from the State capital on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

“Besides Kolkata, we have also resumed passenger flights to Mumbai. Flights to New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad were already operational after the resumption of air services,” said Sharma.

All flights from Ranchi remained suspended since the imposition of a nationwide lockdown on March 24 in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.  Once flight services resumed on May 25, the Ranchi airport was permitted to operate only seven flights, airport officials said.

While the count of flights gradually increased to 10 by August end, the number was still less than half of the number of flights that took off from Ranchi before lockdown, and there were no flights to Kolkata.

Although Ranchi-ites now have the option to fly to Kolkata during Durga Puja, railway services connecting Ranchi to Howrah have remained suspended despite demands by various groups of resuming direct trains between Ranchi and Kolkata. The Government has not given any indication regarding the resumption of passenger trains from Ranchi to Howrah prior to the festival, to be celebrated in the last week of October.

28/09/20 Pioneer

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