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Bengal govt to allow extra day for flights from Delhi and Mumbai

Several airlines have expressed apprehensions about operating one-way flights to these two cities because of logistic issues

Our Special Correspondent | Published 05.01.22, 04:14 AM
Representational image.

Representational image.

Shutterstock

The state government on Tuesday informed the Centre that it would allow flights from Delhi and Mumbai three days a week from Wednesday, instead of two days that was decided earlier.

On January 2, the state government informed the Centre that flights would be allowed from Delhi and Mumbai only twice a week — Mondays and Fridays — from January 5 instead of daily operations because of the high number of Covid cases in those two cities. However, the government on Tuesday wrote another letter, informing that flights can come from these two cities on Wednesdays too.

“... this is to kindly inform that the matter was reviewed and that the state government is extremely sensitive towards the inconvenience that may be caused to the passengers but restrictions are absolutely essential for containment of Covid cases in the state,” wrote B.P. Gopalika, additional chief secretary of Bengal, in a letter to Rajiv Bansal, secretary of the Union ministry of civil aviation.

The letter said: “The incoming domestic flights from Mumbai and Delhi will be allowed thrice a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with effect from 05th January, 2022 and the same will be reviewed again shortly depending upon the Covid situation in the state.”

Every day, 25 flights from Delhi and 15 from Mumbai arrive in Calcutta. State government and Calcutta airport officials said there was no restriction on flights departing daily from Calcutta to Delhi and Mumbai.

Several airlines have expressed apprehensions about operating one-way flights to these two cities because of logistic issues. On Monday, SpiceJet requested the state government to allow five-day operations from these two cities given the large volume of passengers.

“Please be informed that two important cities Delhi and Mumbai have always played a very vital role for the economic, social and cultural development to any part of India and especially with the state of Bengal,” wrote Debashis

Saha, vice-president, regulatory and government affairs, SpiceJet, to chief secretary H.K. Dwivedi.

“By decreasing the frequency to only two days on incoming flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Bengal will hurt the common passengers who want to sustain their livelihood and also the elapsed time will go substantially high if they need to travel on one hop flight. This will cause inconvenience to the passengers. In case of any emergency situation at home (if at all) passengers will have to face more difficulty to reach their destination.

“We humbly request you to consider our request and give us permission to operate daily flights (may be with reduced frequency) to Bengal from Delhi and Mumbai. We will follow the approval process as per SOP and all relevant guidelines for movement of passengers,” the letter stated.

“By decreasing the frequency to only two days on incoming flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Bengal will hurt the common passengers who want to sustain their livelihood and also the elapsed time will go substantially high if they need to travel on one hop flight. This will cause inconvenience to the passengers. In case of any emergency situation at home (if at all) passengers will have to face more difficulty to reach their destination,” the letter from Saha reads.

“We humbly request you to consider our request and give us permission to operate daily flights (may be with reduced frequency) to Bengal from Delhi and Mumbai. We will follow the approval process as per SOP and all relevant guidelines for movement of passengers,” the letter stated.

Last updated on 05.01.22, 05:06 AM
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