With the induction of more Dreamliners to its fleet this year, national carrier Air India is planning to start more direct international flights, including one from Kolkata,” AI Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said here today. After an internal meeting at the AI Headquarter here, Lohani said that “Air India is set to enhance its connectivity in the Eastern Region from its summer schedule starting in a phased manner from March-end this year.” The national carrier would launch a thrice-a-week Kolkata-Bangkok flight operated by the state-of-the-art Airbus A320 Neo aircraft in May.
Air India would also reinstate the day-return Kolkata-Bangalore flight in addition to the existing flight to Bangalore from the city.
“The AI, which is set to induct 34 aircraft this year, is on an expansion mode driven by its policy ‘Fly More Fill More’ directly connecting Delhi with Washington shortly and also launching a Dreamliner flight to Copenhagen later in the year.
Besides, Air India would start a flight from Mumbai to Guwahati and from Mumbai to Ranchi and start a service on the Delhi-Guwahati-Dibrugarh sector, Lohani said.
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“This will be in addition to the already existing flight from Delhi to Guwahati. This flight will also link Dibrugarh for the first time with the capital,” he said adding that also on the anvil was a second Kolkata to Hyderabad flight via Bhubaneswar.
Recently, Air India Express had launched services to Singapore and Dhaka from Kolkata. Operations to the Northeast have also been strengthened with the commencement of point to point operations from Kolkata to Imphal and from Kolkata to Aizwal as well as between Kolkata and Dimapur and Dibrugarh.
Air India, along with its subsidiary Alliance Air, has also been connecting Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to boost regional connectivity within the country, Lohani said.