Ample opportunity for operating long-haul flights from Kolkata: Official

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Kolkata, Feb 20 (IANS) With increasing passenger movement in Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here, the airport authority on Tuesday said there is “ample opportunity” for operating long-haul flights from the city to European destinations, Australia and other countries.

The authority showcased the “Kolkata airport” to international airlines in the route conferences.

The consultant engaged for sustainable and capacity expansion roadmap for the Kolkata Airport is likely to submit their report soon, the official said.

“There is an ample opportunity for operating long-haul flights directly from Kolkata … We are making our efforts to connect Kolkata directly to Europe, Australia,” Airport Director Atul Dikshit said while addressing Infra East organised by CII.

Some more destinations of China may also be connected with Kolkata, he said.

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“There are route conferences happening around the world. We visit to these conferences and try to sell our airports’ (potential). We give them all kind of data (relating to) what kind of passenger traffic they can have. We have showcased Calcutta (Kolkata airport) in these route conferences. Till date, few have shown the interest, no one has come out with concrete proposal,” he said when asked about the details about connecting the city with European destinations directly.

Dikshit also said the authority engaged US-based consultant Landrum & Brown, a few months back with a mandate to study on sustainability and capacity expansion of the airport.

He said the city airport authority handled 15.6 million passengers last year and this year, it expects to touch 18.9 million passengers.

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According to him, a number of airlines, including domestic ones, send their planes to other countries for different kind of mandatory checks.

“If someone shows interest in aircraft Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) operations in Kolkata, these checks can be carried out in Kolkata. It will generate revenue for airport and the government and also create employment here,” he added.



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