AirAsia India will launch two new daily flights from Bagdogra – one linking Calcutta in the morning and the other connecting Delhi in the evening – from May.
“AirAsia India will launch a flight to Delhi in the evening from May 1 and a service to Calcutta in mornings from May 11. The flights would largely help passengers who intend to reach here from Calcutta in the morning and reach Delhi late in the evening,” said Rakesh Sahay, the Bagdogra airport director.
The new flights were announced after the Instrumental Landing System (ILS) was commissioned at Bagdogra on March 29.
The authorities have also started bringing in additional CISF personnel to ensure that the airport functions for 16 hours a day, that is from 6am to 10pm.
As of now, the last flight leaves Bagdogra at 6.25pm and it is bound for Delhi. The new flight by AirAsia India will leave Delhi at 4pm and reach Bagdogra at 6.15pm. In the return direction, it will take off at 6.45pm and land at Delhi at 9.20pm.
The first flight from Calcutta lands at 11.45am and the first service to the Bengal capital takes off at 12.30pm.
“There was a longstanding demand to start early morning flights between Calcutta and Bagdogra. The demand would be met with introduction of the new flight on May 11,” said Sahay.
The new flight will leave Calcutta at 9am and land at Bagdogra at 10.20pm. It will depart Bagdogra at 10.45am and touch down in Calcutta at 11.55am.
Following the commissioning of the ILS, the Airports Authority of India has been communicating with airline companies for introduction of flights in mornings and evenings.
The introduction of the new flight means people can reach Bagdogra from Calcutta 90 minutes ahead vis-à-vis the current schedule.
With the new services, the number of daily flights will increase to 26, which means, there will be 52 movements. “It will be 27 flights on days when Druk Air operates its flight connecting Paro with Bangkok via Bagdogra,” said a source.
Members of the travel trade fraternity have welcomed the announcement of the new services.
“Tourists complaint that they reach their destinations in the hills in the evening as they can arrive at Bagdogra only in the afternoon. While returning, they need to hurry in the morning as there is no flight in late evening hours. We feel the introduction of the new flights would help them,” said Samrat Sanyal, a senior tour operator.
Source: The Telegraph