West Bengal seeks more air connectivity

Kolkata, May 29 (IANS) The West Bengal government is seeking increased air connectivity between the state and northeastern states and south-east Asian countries, state Finance Minister Amit Mitra said here Wednesday.

"Representatives of carriers like Jet and Indigo have put forward proposals to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. We discussed different tour packages to boost tourism during major festivals like Durga Puja," Mitra told mediapersons after meeting representatives of tour operators at the Writers' Buildings here.

Mitra said that Jet Airways plans to increase the number of flights to Myanmar.

He added: "Indigo wants to add more flights in the Kolkata-Singapore and Kolkata-Bangkok route. There is no need for bilateral talks as it is an indigenous carrier. Jet wants flights to Myanmar to go up. This would need a bilateral discussions," said Mitra.

Mitra added that landing at night in Bagdogra, in north Bengal, might be a possibility in the near future.

He said that if that happens, the "whole of the northeast and Kolkata and Bagdogra can move forward together."

Mitra said adventure tourism and tea tourism were also on the agenda of Wednesday's discussion.

According to Aditya Ghosh, CEO of Indigo, 22 lakh passengers fly out annually from Kolkata. Thirty-eight Indigo flights operate from the eastern metropolis daily.

"Additional flights in some sectors like Delhi, Mumbai, Guwahati, Bangalore, Patna, Imphal, Dibrugarh, Chennai will be introduced. We are also planning to introduce direct flights to Pune and Goa from Kolkata. Flights to Ranchi will be introduced in August," Ghosh said.

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