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Summer bonanza: direct flights to ‘Paradise on Earth’

Fly straight from Kolkata to Srinagar in 3 hours and 15 minutes

Sanjay Mandal | Published 01.03.24, 06:36 AM
Representational image

Representational image

File picture

The city will have direct flights to Jammu and Kashmir from this summer.

IndiGo on Thursday announced two direct flights from Kolkata to Srinagar and
Jammu. One will be a daily flight and the other will operate on the first, third and fifth Sundays of the month, the airline announced.


The daily Kolkata-Srinagar-Jammu service starts on April 10, while the Kolkata-Jammu flight — to operate on the first, third and fifth Sundays — will have its maiden run on April 21, IndiGo announced.

If a particular month does not have five Sundays, the Kolkata-Jammu flight will operate twice, instead of thrice, that month.

“We are pleased to announce new routes to our forthcoming summer schedule, in response to the surging demand for travel. We are confident that these routes will not only enhance access and travel experiences, but also bolster economic ties across various states,” said Vinay Malhotra, head of global sales, IndiGo.

Now, tourists from Kolkata flying to Kashmir go via Delhi or Chandigarh, which have connecting flights to Srinagar and Jammu.

Tour operators said this was time-consuming and expensive. Direct flights will boost the flow of tourists from Kolkata to Kashmir, they said.

On Thursday afternoon, the one-way fare for the Kolkata-Srinagar direct flight was Rs 7,800 for April 10. The fare for Jammu, via Srinagar, on the same flight was Rs 8,170 for April 10.

In contrast, the Kolkata-Srinagar fare with a stopover in Delhi is Rs 13,300 for next Tuesday.

It will take three hours and 15 minutes to reach Srinagar from Kolkata by the direct flight, according to IndiGo.

A tour operator said it takes nearly six hours to reach Srinagar from Kolkata with a stopover in Delhi.

Tour operators in Kashmir said they are expecting more tourists from Kolkata during the summer holiday season because of the direct flights. “With better flying options, the number of tourists should increase,” said Burhan Yaqoob Misgar of Misgar Travels in Srinagar.

Travel agents are upbeat in Kolkata as well.

“This should be a big boost for domestic travel out of Kolkata this summer. We had seen a surge in demand for Goa when a direct fight was introduced. Direct connectivity, whether domestic or international, immediately boosts travel as it takes less time and costs less,” said Anil Punjabi, national committee member of the Travel Agents Federation of India, representing the eastern region. He said talks are on with tour operators in Kashmir for better packages.

According to other travel agents, there has been a big surge in travel from Kolkata
and surrounding areas to Jammu and Kashmir over the past two years.

“Last year, we sent 12 groups, of 40 tourists each, to Kashmir. A similar number of tourists went to Leh, Ladakh and Amarnath,” said Raktim Roy of Dolphin Travels.

The popular destinations in Jammu and Kashmir include Srinagar, where houseboats, Mughal gardens and shrines are among the top draw, Gulmarg, Sonamarg and Pahalgam.

The state has also emerged as a favourite destination of honeymoon travellers, said tour operators.

Last updated on 01.03.24, 06:36 AM

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