No flights to Kolkata from 6 cities including Delhi and Mumbai from July 6 to 19

The decision was taken in a bid to prevent further surge in Covid-19 infection in West Bengal, said airport authorities in Kolkata.

Published: 04th July 2020 04:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th July 2020 08:09 AM   |  A+A-

Flight passengers wait in a queue at the NSCBI Airport to catch a flight for Guwahati amid ongoing COVID-19 lockdown in Kolkata Thursday May 28 2020. (Photo | PTI)

KOLKATA:  Heeding to a request from the West Bengal government, the ministry of civil aviation decided not to operate flights to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and Ahmedabad from July 6 to July 19 till further orders.

The decision was taken in a bid to prevent further surge in Covid-19 infection in West Bengal, said airport authorities in Kolkata.

In a tweet on Saturday, Kolkata airport authorities said, 'It is informed that no flights shall operate to Kolkata from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai & Ahmedabad from 6th to 19th July 2010 or till further order whichever is earlier. Inconvenience caused is regretted.’’

Earlier, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the state government would request the Centre to suspend flight operations to Kolkata from the cities across the country which have already been identified as Covid-19 hotspots. Citing an incident of two youth flew to Kolkata from Chennai last month with medical reports confirming their Covid-19 infection, she had also alleged that health protocols were not being followed at the airports.


"On June 30, chief secretary of West Bengal government Rajiva Sinha wrote to the Central government and requested to suspend flight operations at least till July 19 from the Covid-19 hotspot cities in the wake of a steep rise in Covid-19 infection in Kolkata and West Bengal. Responding to our request, the civil aviation ministry decided not to operate flights to Kolkata," said an official of the state government.

Seeking suspension in flight operations, Sinha, in his letter to PS Kharola, the secretary of the ministry of civil aviation, wrote, "As you know coronavirus is spreading fast all over the country. Some of the states are experiencing a larger spread of epidemic though we strongly believe that all the state governments are equally vigilant and active towards curbing the spread. West Bengal is also witnessing a steep rise in cases. A large number of cases have been reported from people coming in the state from outside with infection."

On average, Kolkata airport operates 10 flights daily from Delhi, five each from Mumbai and Chennai, two each from Ahmedabad and Pune, and one from Nagpur. Kolkata deals with 60 to 65 flights every day to and from all over the country.

The airlines, however, are yet to decide whether they will refund the passengers of the affected flights or keep the money in a shell for future travel.


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