Sunday, November 29, 2020

Airlines again seek daily Calcutta flights from six cities

At a meeting on Thursday, the airline operators’ committee requested the director of Calcutta airport to take up the issue with the state government once again.

Flights to Calcutta from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur Chennai and Ahmedabad — the cities that have high Covid prevalence — have remained suspended since July 6 following a request from the state government. From September 1, the state government allowed flights to arrive from these cities thrice a week. Now, the flights are arriving from these cities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

“The airlines requested me to take up the issue with the state government. I had earlier raised it with the state officials and will do it once again now,” airport director Kaushik Bhattacharya said on Saturday.

However, a senior state government official said there was no plan to resume daily flights from these cities now. “There are fresh spikes in number of Covid-19 cases in Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat. So, we have to be careful,” said the official.

Civil aviation ministry officials said some airports had restrictions like Chennai was not allowing more than a particular number of flights to operate and Mumbai had asked all passengers arriving from some cities to get RT-PCR tests for Covid done before boarding the flight. “But there are no restrictions on flights from any particular city,” said officials.

An official of a private airline said they were continuing to lose revenue because of the state government decision and also facing operational problems.

Airport officials said they were also facing problems because on the days when flights arrive from the six cities there was huge overcrowding causing chaos. “If the traffic was spread through the week, this chaos would not happen,” said an airport official.

29/11/20 Telegraph

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