Thursday, October 15, 2020

No more twice-a-week, Kol-London flights only on Sundays from Oct 25

Kolkata: Plagued by poor loads since the introduction of the twice-a-week direct service between Kolkata and London, Air India has decided to reduce the frequency to once-a-week after Durga Puja.

“After Navami, October 25, the flight will arrive in Kolkata and take off for London only on Sundays. The flight that operated on Thursdays has been withdrawn as it isn’t sustainable to continue with the present load,” an AI official told TOI on Wednesday.

The AI decision comes a day after the CM pitched for enhanced connectivity between Kolkata and Europe and urged the civil aviation ministry to make the flight a permanent one. The flight that started on September 16 was to initially operate till October 24 before its service was extended to December-end and then to the end of March next year.

The introduction of the flight had led to considerable excitement in the market with many hoping it would revive international travel that had ceased in March when the flights were abruptly shut down as India went into a lockdown. Though similar flights introduced from other cities, including Kochi and Goa, have done well, the one from Kolkata to London and back has failed to draw enough passengers. Only once did a third of the 256 seats in the Dreamliner aircraft used on the sector get filled up.

With an average load of 70 passengers, the London flight has attracted primarily cinema crew travelling to shoot in the UK and students flying down to join institutions in the country. Though the UK is issuing all categories of visa, including tourism, the 14-day quarantine on arrival is a dampener as it will enable only those who have relatives and friends to travel.

15/10/20 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment