This Durga Puja, over 3.1 lakh passengers flew in and out of Kolkata airport between Shashti and Dashami, shattering the previous record of 2.5 lakh last year. Sources said the actual figure would be much higher as the projections are based on departures, which is lower than that of arrivals during Puja. On Shashti, a whopping 28,942 domestic flyers departed from Kolkata. Add to that another 5,444 international passengers and the total departures was 34,386 — the highest ever on a single day at Kolkata airport. With several hundred more arriving to the city on Shashti to experience Durga Puja, the total passenger count breached 70,000, another record.
Domestic departure increased by 29% during the five-day period. International traffic was up 6.4%. The highest international departure as well as arrival was on Sashti.
The sharp rise in passengers was supported by a spike in flights operating in and out of Kolkata. While 851 domestic flights operated to Kolkata last Puja, 926 came in this year. The number of international flights increased from 153 to 163.
Sources said the retail and food outlets at the airport, too, clocked record sales, up by almost 50% against the corresponding period last year. The number of stores also went up since last Puja.
While Airports Authority of India (AAI) deputed additional housekeeping personnel to keep the facilities clean and functional during the fiveday period. Airlines also organised various events, like flash dance and dhunuchi naach, to provide a festive feel to flyers.
Source: Times of India