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Cosmic Air, Jetstar set to fly from Kolkata

July 06, 2005 11:31 IST

Encouraged by the centre's 'open sky' policy and growth in air traffic in eastern India, two more private foreign airlines are likely to operate from Kolkata shortly after clearance.

"The possibility of operation by two private foreign airlines from Kolkata is very bright and if everything goes well the airlines, one airline from Nepal and the other from Australia, can be seen here soon," chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators, West Bengal chapter, Arnab Mukherjee told PTI.

Of the two, the possibility of Nepal's Cosmic Air, which now flies to remote areas in the himalayan kingdom, was very positive and it was likely to operate by July second week with three flights a week between Kolkata and Kathmandu, Mukherjee said.

"The airline, which already has two flights a day to Delhi, is about to start its thrice weekly Kolkata-Kathmandu flight by the second week of July subject to clearance," he said.

A low cost carrier from Australia, Jetstar Airways, was also likely to operate from Kolkata by late this month subject to clearance.

Jetstar Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Qantas, was likely to operate three flights a week from Kolkata to Singapore and back for Rs 7,000 to Rs 8,000.

Meanwhile, Thai Airways has increased its frequency from three to five flights a week from Kolkata to Bangkok and Singapore Airlines from three to four flights a week.

Malaysia Airlines also flies thrice a week between Kolkata and Kuala Lumpur. Indian Airlines has also stepped up operations between Kolkata and Bangkok with 10 flights a week.

Indian flag carrier, Air India, has also recently launched a non-stop Kolkata-London flight thrice a week throwing a stiff challenge to British Airways, which also operates three flights a week in the sector.

Mukherjee, who also heads city-based Spic Travels, said with the growth in air traffic in the region, competition among the airlines was very stiff which had resulted in drastic cut in airfare.

Passengers can now travel at a much cheaper rate to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapur and London sectors. Stating that there was still scope for exploitation of air traffic in the region, Mukherjee said many more airlines were likely to come in future.

Qatar Airlines was also likely to propose operations from Kolkata during its talks with the Centre in Delhi, he said.


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