In a bid to further improve passenger handling operations at the Kolkata airport, the authorities today announced that help kiosks have been put up at several points at the airport which recorded a massive passenger footfall of 24,000 in a single day.

The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport, of late, has been dealing with a surge in passenger growth, especially after the flight ban to six covid hotspots from Kolkata, was withdrawn. Flight services to Mumbai, Delhi, Pune Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad were allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in the first two weeks of September while Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays in the last two weeks.

On both Tuesday and Thursday this week, the airport witnessed severe passenger rush outside boarding gates and inside terminal which also reportedly led to many passengers missing the flights due to procedural delays that include checking whether the passenger fulfilled all Covid criterions for flying. The airport authorities have asked airlines to provide staff at the airport to guide passengers.

An airport official said that help kiosks have been set up at the airport premises to help passengers, especially first time fliers, locate boarding gates and other areas.

All passenger queries will be answered at these desks. This measure including others is expected to cut down delays and unnecessary crowding.

The airport authorities said, on 3 September, the airport recorded 24,000 passengers and 188 flights. The official pointed out that it indicates steady growth. The numbers increased over a day since on 2 September the airport recorded 15,369 passengers- 6,087 arrival and 9,282 departure while total flight movements was 136 -67 arrival, 69 departure.

Meanwhile, Air India has announced direct flight operations between Kolkata and London under the Vande Bharat repatriation missions, an AI spokesperson said. The flights between NSCBI airport Kolkata and Heathrow in London will operate twice a week from 16 September to 24 October.

It was learnt that the flight service would be available on Thursdays and Sundays from Kolkata, and Wednesdays and Saturdays from Heathrow. Bookings have been opened for interested passengers. It may be mentioned that Air India had started operating scheduled passenger flights between Kolkata and London in 2006 but discontinued the service in 2010 due to poor load factor.