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AI link to three capitals takes off

Ranchi on Tuesday received its second air link to Patna and fourth to Calcutta, courtesy Air India (AI).

The first AI flight — connecting the three capital cities — left Calcutta at 2.45pm and reached Birsa Munda Airport at 3.45pm. After a brief halt in Ranchi, it took off for Patna at 4.20pm. The touchdown in the Bihar capital was recorded at 5.15pm.

On its debut return, the flight flew to Ranchi, where it landed at 7.10pm. It resumed its journey to the Bengal capital at 7.40pm and reached there at 8.40pm.

Air India’s area manager Pramod Bhuiyan is out of station and could not be contacted for comments.

However, another airline official confirmed good response. “The debut service between the three cities was encouraging. The flight was on schedule,” he said.

According to Air India officials, the aircraft being used for the Calcutta-Ranchi-Patna-Ranchi-Calcutta sector was a 48-seater French-Italian ATR.

They added that the airline had been planning to begin such a service for one year.

So far, there was only one flight to Patna from Ranchi. The service is run by GoAir. The flight leaves the state capital at 3.15pm. However, there was no return flight from Patna to Ranchi. With the introduction of the Air India service, this minor gap has also been bridged.

On the other hand, there were three flights from Ranchi to Calcutta till now. All the services are run by Jet Airways. The first flight for Calcutta leaves Birsa Munda Airport at 12.10pm every day. Similarly, the second is scheduled for take-off at 4.50pm and the third at 7.40pm.