Several private airlines expressed their interest in running day-night flight from Kazi Nazrul Islam (KNI) Airport, at Durgapur. The authority believes, some flight operations are likely to start by the end of January.
It may be recalled that Air India had suddenly withdrawn its flight operation from KNI airport from June 17, last year, just six months after its inauguration, citing ‘operational reasons’.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee also expressed her displeasure over the sudden retreat by Air India. The country’s first private green field airport was almost dysfunctional since then.
It may also be recalled that Chief Minister had inaugurated the long-awaited Kolkata-Durgapur-New Delhi flight on December 7 in 2015. It was connecting the industrial city of Durgapur. The Chief Minister boarded the flight after inaugurating it here on her way to Delhi and she expressed hope that the service would help in growth of Bengal economy.
According to the source, Zoom Air, a low-fare airline is interested in running flight from there. Test flight shall be operational soon. Druk Air may start a new flight from Bhutan’s Paro to Singapore via Andal soon.
KNI Airport, a project under Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAPL) is currently looking at the opportunity of strategic tie-ups with international airlines. Their intension is to widen the range of air-connectivity to the South Bengal region. The company may also use Airbus A320 for this route.
Chief Minister mentioned that KNI Airport at Andal will joined hands with airports in the North-East,
Andaman and Nicobar, Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep where it is compulsory for Indian carriers to operate flights.
However, BAPL has planned to set up a mega theme park and resort in a joint venture (JV) project with a Mumbai-based hospitality major. The proposed project will have a largest water theme park resort in Bengal and the investment will cost around Rs 110 crore.