Kolkata is all set to have direct flights to Colombo, starting this Wednesday.

Sri Lanka government’s low-cost carrier Mihin Lanka will operate the service thrice a week from the Netaji Subhas Chandra International Airport.

The direct air link will cut down travel time to the Sri Lankan capital by three hours, president of Indian Association of Tour Operators Subhash Goyal said.

"This will not only save time for passengers, but will be very economical as well. We are focussed on providing customers with world-class travel facility at an affordable price," Goyal told PTI.

For a trip from the city to Colombo and back, Mihin Lanka is charging Rs 15,500 as against Rs 26,000-27,000 offered by other operators, whose flights, however, operate via New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai or Bangalore, Goyal said.

Mihin Lanka is likely to use Airbus-319, A-320 or A-321 aircraft on the Kolkata-Colombo sector, he said.

"There are many people from this part of the country who visit Colombo for business purpose. So, we are aiming at tapping those passengers," Goyal, who is also the President of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, said.

He hoped that the direct service would boost tourism in Bengal as well as Sri Lanka.

"In fact, the first two flights from the city are fully booked," he said.

Mihin Lanka is planning to join hands with local tour operators to tap the local market.

"We are planning some special travel packages during Durga Puja and Diwali with attractive discounts on hotel rooms and sight-seeing," Goyal said