The Telegraph
Monday , February 14 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Good news in steel city air

Jamshedpur, Feb. 13: It’s a Games gift from Deccan Charters.

The Bangalore-based private airline operator has decided to resume all three flights between Jamshedpur and Calcutta from tomorrow. The flights had been suspended since February 2 for maintenance.

“We have decided to resume the flights in view of the ongoing National Games and the requirements of the people of Jamshedpur,” said Sanjay Sehgal, vice president (business development).

However, the airline has arranged an alternative aircraft for restarting services on this route, as the existing one with turbo propeller and a capacity to seat 19 is still undergoing maintenance at the Calcutta airport. The maintenance work is being carried out as per the recommendation of the manufacturer.

Sehgal said they were taking every possible step to ensure that the services were not disrupted again.

“An 18-seater aircraft will be pressed into service till the other one is fit for use. Passengers can start booking their tickets. There will be no changes in flight timings,” he added.

Air connectivity between Jamshedpur and Calcutta assumes immense significance during the Games as VVIPs and other top delegates can fly into the state and thus avoid the rail route, which is also facing disruptions because of the ban on night trains.

Businessmen and frequent fliers also heaved a sigh of relief. “ It’s good to know that the flights will restart from tomorrow,” said a leading city businessman.

The private operator had started three non-scheduled flights connecting Jamshedpur and Calcutta in August last year. A small aircraft was introduced since the runway at Sonari is not equipped for bigger ones.

However, ever since the launch, the airline withdrew services for a temporary period on more than two occasions, citing technical reasons or poor visibility.

Deccan Charters is the third airline to hit the Jamshedpur sky. Earlier, Air Deccan, which merged with Kingfisher Airlines, and MDLR, started operations, but withdrew in 2009 on technical grounds.

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