The Telegraph
Saturday , January 25 , 2014
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Chartered cheer for fliers, devotees

There’s good news in the air for fliers. From February, residents would be able to visit nearby cities in no time.

Apart from cities like Gaya and Bhagalpur, you would also be able to visit Varanasi by chartered flights. After waiting for several months, Delhi-based Skyfisher Airways Pvt Ltd got the operating licence from the directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA) on January 13.

“A Cessna Grand Caravan 208B arrived in Patna on October 2 last year and a trial sortie from Patna to Bhagalpur was conducted by a team of DGCA officials on October 11. We got the non-scheduled operator’s permit, a mandatory clearance for chartered operations from DGCA, on January 13. We are now waiting for the chief minister to give us time to launch our service from Patna airport,” said Atul Singh, executive director, Skyfisher Airways.

Fliers would reach Varanasi in around 65 minutes, paying around Rs 3,500. The distance between Patna and Varanasi is around 250km and travel time by road is around four-and-a-half hours. Trains usually take five hours.

The travel time to Gaya and Bhagalpur from the city by road is around three and five hours, respectively. By air, the travel time to Gaya and Bhagalpur would be reduced to around 25 and 40 minutes, respectively.

Fliers would have to pay around Rs 2,500 per seat for travelling to Gaya and Bhagalpur. An equal amount would be charged for flying to Varanasi from Gaya in 40 minutes.

A Skyfisher counter has been set up at the terminal building at Patna airport. “Engineers, ground staff and pilots have been stationed. The fare and announcement for launch of the service can be expected within a week,” said Atul.

The flights can be booked in one of three modes — on the website, from the booking counter at the airport or through authorised travel agents. People can also book non-scheduled flights for medical evacuation, and corporate and personal chartered purposes. “Our focus is on air evacuation for medical purposes,” said Atul.

New Calcutta flight

GoAir would operate a new flight (G8-541/542) on the Patna-Calcutta route from February 4. The flight, an Airbus 320 aircraft, would arrive at Patna airport at 3.35pm and depart at 4pm. The ticket for the new flight was available for Rs 2,999 on Friday evening.

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