Four new AirAsia flights from Aug. 1

AirAsia is betting big on Calcutta even as competing airlines remain cynical about the city in terms of business travel boosting their bottom lines.

By Sanjay Mandal
  • Published 30.06.17
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June 29: AirAsia is betting big on Calcutta even as competing airlines remain cynical about the city in terms of business travel boosting their bottom lines.

Starting August 1, AirAsia will fly to Delhi, Jaipur, Bagdogra and Bhubaneswar from the city. The Bhubaneswar flight will proceed to Bangalore, sources said.

Tickets for all these flights would go on sale next Monday.

Later in the year, possibly September or October, the airline hopes to start flights to Goa and Guwahati from the city.
Vistara recently decided to pull out its Calcutta-Bangalore flight citing lower than expected business travel, ostensibly the lifeblood of full-service airlines.

Industry sources said AirAsia’s hopping flight to Bangalore was unlikely to face viability issues because it would be all-economy. There is another advantage: this flight would carry Bangalore-bound passengers both from Calcutta and Bhubaneswar.

AirAsia’s Delhi flight is scheduled to take off from Calcutta at 11.20pm daily and reach its destination at 1.40am. On the return route, the flight would take off at 4.55am and land in Calcutta at 7.15am.

“The timing of the Delhi flight should be convenient for those having international connections from Delhi. Their waiting time would be minimum,” said Anil Punjabi, chairman (east) of the Travel Agents’ Federation of India. “These flights would hopefully also bring down fares.” 

Since Calcutta does not have direct air connectivity with Europe or the US, passengers who do not take one of the Gulf carriers usually opt for a flight out of Delhi. The current average one-way fare to Delhi from the city is between Rs 5,000 and 7,000.

AirAsia had started its domestic operations in Calcutta this March with two flights to Delhi via Ranchi. “The new routes have been planned to ensure optimum utilisation of aircraft,” said an official.

As for international flights, Bali would be the third destination for the airline from the city after Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.