Friday, March 05, 2021

Airline to start city ops with eye on Cooch Behar market

Kolkata: A new airline is set to fly into Kolkata next month. After lockdown, FlyBig will be the second airline to start operations in the city. International airline Fly Dubai had started services between Dubai and Kolkata in November 2020.

FlyBig, a regional airline with its hub in Indore, plans to connect Kolkata with Rupsi in Assam’s Kokrajhar and Guwahati from April 1. The airline will also connect Dibrugarh and Tezpur in Guwahati, Pasighat and Tezu in Arunachal Pradesh, Aizawl in Mizoram, Shillong in Meghalaya and Agartala in Tripura. Sources in the airline said the flight to Rupsi will tap into the Cooch Behar market. Residents of Cooch Behar town now have to travel five-six hours to take a flight to Kolkata from Bagdogra. The travel time will reduce substantially as Rupsi is an hour-and-a-half’s drive from Cooch Behar town.

Though Cooch Behar has an airport, the runway isn’t long enough to allow operation of regional airlines. Only small planes with capacity of less than 20 passengers can operate from there, something that some non-scheduled operators, like North-East Airlines, had proposed. But commercial flights were never operated as the sector was unviable.

Promoted by Gurugram-based Big Charter Pvt Ltd, FlyBig, which began operations in December 2020, focuses on connecting tier-2 cities within India. It is a full-service carrier and serves meals on board and allows 15kg luggage per passenger.

Travel Agents Association of India chairman (east) Manav Soni welcomed the new airline. “This is a positive development. Since tourism will now be inland instead of overseas, the airline will open up vacation places in the northeast,” said Soni.

05/03/21 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

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1 comment:

  1. I am a resident of Gauripur town situated 12 kms from Rupsi airport. I am working in Kerala for past 12 yrs and travelling to my hometown via Guwahati (5hrs distance) is extremely exhausting cumbersome and hurts the pocket monetarily too.
    I have been hearing since 2018 that Rupsi airport will resume operations under the PM's remote connectivity scheme but even after nearly 2 yrs of completion the same has not resumed operations.69 crores of taxpayers money has been spent. I fear that Rupsi airport functioning is just a pipe dream and will do so only on paper. Too much of vested interests are involved and as always the ordinary public is left in the lurch.