The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport, Kolkata is expecting increase in flight services in the Kolkata-Bhutan route after an air bubble agreement was signed while the airport is also awaiting resumption of flights to and from Bangladesh soon.

The Kolkata airport which serves as one of the vital airports in the Eastern Region of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is expecting increase in flights from Paro airport in Bhutan to Kolkata. The airport director, Mr. Kaushik Bhattacharya, today told The Statesman, “Pre- Covid period, the Kolkata airport had 10 weekly flights from Bhutan which at present, is two flights a week. An air bubble agreement was signed and now we are hoping the frequency of flights will increase and revert to the pre-pandemic figures.” The Drukair Bhutan airlines generally operate its AirbusA320 aircraft fleet in this route.

The Airports Authority of India has announced that India has created an air travel arrangement with Bhutan. Indian and Bhutanese carriers are now permitted to operate flight services between the two countries while there are criterions that passengers need to fulfill to fly from Bhutan to India.

It said Indian nationals and all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders holding passports of Bhutan are eligible. Bhutanese nationals /residents and foreigners, including diplomats who hold valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30 June, 2020, are eligible to take the flight.

Commenting on whether flight services between Bangladesh and Kolkata has resumed, the Kolkata airport director said, “An air bubble agreement has been signed. We are expecting the KolkataBangladesh flight services to resume, soon.” The Biman Bangladesh airlines operate flight services in this route which was suspended in the wake of Covid.