Deccan Charters, a Bangalore-based company, will start operating small aircraft from Kolkata’s Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBI) airport to Jamshedpur, Agartala and Shillong by 10 October.
A 18-seater Beechcraft has already reached Kolkata airport this week to begin flight operations. The aircraft has been procured from South Africa. Two more small aircraft that have been kept at Ahmedabad airport will reach Kolkata airport shortly. Five such small aircraft are scheduled to reach Kolkata airport shortly.
The minimum fare from Kolkata to Jamshedpur, for first ten passengers will be Rs 2,500 under the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN. The cap on fares for select short routes is Rs 2,500 for an hour-long flight, applicable to 50 per cent of the seats. This means 10 out of 18 passengers booked on a Deccan Charters flight from Calcutta would benefit from the subsidy. Two seats will be for the cabin crew and rest 18 for passengers.
“We have decided to start operations by 10 October and have already received requisite clearances from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, (DGCA). NSCBI airport will be our hub in Bengal and we intend to keep five aircraft here,” a senior official of Deccan Charters said.
For Jamshedpur, one small aircraft will leave Kolkata airport 8.35 am and will reach Jamshedpur at 9.40 a.m. For the return trip the aircraft will leave Jamshedpur at 10 am and reach Kolkata at 10.45 a.m.
Another aircraft will take off from Kolkata airport at 11.10 a.m. and will reach Shillong 1.25 p.m. via Agartala. It will halt at Agartala airport for ten minutes.
Deccan Charter plans to begin flight operation from Kolkata to Cooch Behar, Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in Andal and Burnpur, but is delaying launch of the services fearing dearth of passengers.
The Centre’s UDAN scheme, among other objectives, aims to revive airports that are equipped to handle commercial flights but are not operational.