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Sunday, 01 September, 2019, 12 : 00 PM [IST]

SpiceJet likely to start Bhopal-Kolkata flight from September

According to a report by Ramendra Singh in The Times of India, it seems to be boom time for aviation in Bhopal as SpiceJet may launch a Bhopal- Kolkata flight from September 26, 2019, or even earlier to cash in on the Pujo frenzy .

“Realising the potential on the Bhopal-Kolkata sector, it is obvious that the airline would show keen interest. An announcement is likely within a week or two,” highly placed sources said, adding the Kolkata operations could start on September 10. About two months ago, at a meeting with airlines’ representatives and state government officials, S R Mohanty, Chief Secretary, Govt of Madhya Pradesh,  had expressed concern that the Madhya Pradesh capital has zero air connectivity with the eastern part of the country. Apart from Kolkata, Bagdogra and Bhubaneshwar were among the cities discussed for east connectivity, and Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Amritsar came up for the north. At the high-level meeting, Mohanty had urged airlines to link Bhopal with Kolkata and other cities.


A web campaign for Bhopal-Kolkata flight got more that 10,000 tweets in a day. What makes an air link with Kolkata all the more necessary is that railway connectivity is very poor — there are only four direct trains a week, and on different days, said flyers campaigning for it. The aviation sector in Bhopal, long-neglected, has truly taken off in the last eight months or so.

Till December 2018, Bhopal had only 18 flights a day and was connected to three cities — Delhi, Mumbai and Raipur. Now, there are 44 flights a day with connections to 10 cities — the new destinations being Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Surat, Udaipur, Pune and Shirdi. Daily footfall has shot up from 500 last year to 2,000 per day. Air India, IndiGo and SpiceJet are operating from Bhopal, and sources said this could increase. A delegation of flyers met Mohanty recently, seeking more flights. “It was a cordial meet. We want the state government to work seriously on increasing air connectivity,” said flyer Tushar Kulkarni.
 
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