Thursday, October 01, 2020

AI extends direct services from Kolkata to London till year end

Kolkata: The twice-a-week direct flights between Kolkata and London that Air India (AI) had introduced on September 16 will now operate till December 31. The airline announced the extension from October 24 to the end of the year in the early hours of Wednesday.

While the present service is part of the civil aviation ministry’s Vande Bharat Mission to primarily repatriate Indians living in the UK or facilitate Indians with valid visa documents to travel to the UK for work, study or to visit people, the subsequent flights will be regular AI services according to the air-bubble agreement between the two countries.

The development came as a pleasant surprise for flyers and the travel trade industry. NRIs from Kolkata settled in the UK, as well as their relatives living here, welcomed the move. Anvaya Ganguly, an IT professional originally from Bagbazar who now resides in Solihull in the UK, said the decision to extend the flights till the end of the year will enable many to fly home to visit family and friends in Kolkata during the Puja.

“In these gloomy Covid times, this news has brought cheer. I just hope the flight gets a further extension and becomes a permanent connection between Kolkata and Europe,” said Ganguly.

Travel agents said the move will help stabilize the flight that has recorded poor economy-class occupancy till now..

01/10/20 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

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