Daily flights to Thailand, one of the most favoured tourist destinations for Kolkatans, resumed from Kolkata on Tuesday evening.
IndiGo resumed its daily operations between Kolkata and Bangkok after two years, since international commercial flight services were stalled in 2020 after the outbreak of Covid.
GoFirst and SpiceJet are set to resume daily flights between Kolkata and Thailand soon, said sources in the airlines.
Tour operators said resumption of services to Thailand would be the biggest boost to Kolkata 's travel industry, hit hard by the pandemic.
IndiGo has also resumed flights to Thailand from Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai.
“The airline will operate the flights under air bubble agreement till March 26, 2022, and thereafter as part of its scheduled commercial international operations,” said a spokesperson for IndiGo.
According to IndiGo, fully vaccinated travellers from India can enter Thailand without quarantine. “As per the new rules, travellers will need a negative PCR laboratory test report before arrival and two more PCR tests upon landing – one upon entry and another on their fifth day of travelling,” said the airline.
IndiGo’s daily flight to Bangkok leaves Kolkata at 8.50pm and lands in the Thai capital at 1.15am (local time). The return flight takes off at 2.15am (local time) and arrives in Kolkata at 3.40am.
SpiceJet had planned daily flights to Bangkok from March 10.
“The decision has been deferred because there was not enough passenger load. The services are expected to resume in the last week of March,” said a source at the Kolkata airport.
Kolkata-based businessman Kailash Athwani said he was planning a family trip to Thailand within a month.
“Thailand has been our favourite destination for years. We could not travel for the past two years,” Athwani said.
“Resumption of flights to Thailand is one of the biggest boosts for the travel industry,” said Anil Punjabi, chairman, east, Travel Agents Federation of India.
Air India operates flights between Kolkata and Bangkok twice a week as part of an air bubble agreement. Airline sources said the load factor was still not good.