Air India linked Kolkata with Dubai with a non-stop flight, fulfiling a long-standing desire for a direct flight by the national carrier to the Gulf from the travel fraternity, tourists and professionals.

The flight AI917, operated by a 162-seater A320 neo aircraft, will fly four times a week directly to Dubai on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday- taking off from Kolkata at 2.50 pm.

The direct flight in the plush new A320neo aircraft with 150 economy and 12 Business class seats will be offered at very attractive fares starting from Rs 11,920 (OneWay) and INR 20,600 (Return) in the Economy Class.

Baggage allowance, spacious seat pitch, delicious meals and the warmth of our service is set to make this flight attractive, said an Air India statement.

Flight AI917 took wings today from Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport at Kolkata with 137 passengers after a traditional inaugural function involving the lighting of the ceremonial lamp, cake-cutting and honouring all passengers with a special memento. Regional Director of Air India Mr S. Misra and other senior executives of Air India along with officials of AAI, CISF and others graced the occasion.

“This flight has evoked a lot of enthusiasm amongst the people of not only Kolkata but also the adjoining states and the North-east. Air India is offering the best of passenger service at very affordable fares with the new A320neo aircraft at an ideal time of departure. This makes the service so attractive,” said an Air India spokesperson at Kolkata.

Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and the biggest city of UAE with important cities like Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman and Al Ain in its near vicinity. Desert safaris, hopon bus tours to savour the spirit of Dubai that offers panoramic views of a modern skyline against sandy beaches with the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa; historical souks, Arabian Dhow cruise on the Dubai Creek, forts and palaces along with extensive shopping malls and attractions of a modern throbbing city life.

Air India brings this attractive bouquet that Dubai has to offer to the tourists within easy reach with the commencement of the direct flight from Kolkata today, said the spokesperson. Air India has direct flights to international stations like Kathmandu, Dhaka, Yangon, Bangkok from Kolkata, besides the hub and spoke flights to the USA, UK, Europe, Australia and other countries through its hub in Delhi.