Although the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has given the green signal for flights from United Kingdom to India amidst the outbreak of what is being termed as a mutated version of the Covid-19 which is far more contagious, flights to Kolkata from the European country continues to remain suspended for now.
The last Air India (AI) flight to Kolkata from London’s Heathrow airport operated on 20 December before the MoCA brought into effect the flight ban to stop any further spread of the mutated Covid version which was traced in some passengers to who flew to India from UK.
Services between the two countries resumed partially from today.
Two passengers who had landed in Kolkata in the last UK flight had tested Covid positive and the new strain was detected in one the passengers, following which the state health department and KMC began a search for the fellow passengers of that flight to get them tested.
The Kolkata airport director, Kaushik Bhattacharya told The Statesman that the London to Kolkata flight remains suspended even though flights to Delhi and Bangalore have resumed.
However, it may be mentioned that such was the popularity of the Kolkata London direct flight that a temporary Covid testing facility was arranged at the Kolkata airport for the fliers from London while the chief minister Mamata Banerjee had appealed to the MoCA to continue with the flights and state government will cooperation.
Meanwhile, a Kolkata airport official said, the airport is clocking high footfall with several international flights.
“On 7 January, the airport handled 30,000 passengers who travelled in 254 flights while on 6 January the footfall crossed 38,000. The airport recently handled around 1065 passengers of 11 flights to and from Dubai, Bangladesh and Doha.”