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Air India kicks off direct flight service to Dubai from city

Kolkata: Air India started providing direct services to Dubai from Kolkata on Tuesday. The inaugural flight took off from Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata at 2:50 pm, with 137 passengers on board. Air India will be providing the service four days in a week.

According to Air India officials, based on a survey it was seen that there was no direct flight service available between Dubai and Kolkata, apart from Emirates. Passengers had to depend on the transit flights which

cost more than a direct flight. Following the survey, Air India decided to commence direct flights to Dubai. One way fare to Dubai is Rs 11,920, with Rs 20,600 for a to and fro journey.

On Tuesday, the direct flight services to Dubai kicked off in grand fashion, as the maximum number of the seats were filled up, which is quite unexpected in an inaugural flight. The flight AI 917 is using a 162-seater Airbus A320 Neo, which is one of the most advanced passenger carrier aircraft in the world.

On Tuesday, before the flight took off, a traditional inaugural function was arranged, involving the lighting of a ceremonial lamp, cake-cutting and honouring all passengers with a special memento.

Director of Air India, Eastern Region, Sanjay Misra, along with other senior officials of Air India, Airports Authority of India and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) were also present during the inaugural function. The flight has evoked a lot of enthusiasm amongst the people of not only Kolkata, but also the adjoining states and the Northeast. "Air India is offering the best of passenger services at very affordable fares, along with the state-of-the-art A320 Neo aircraft at an ideal time of departure. This is what makes the service so attractive," said Air India spokesperson Sameek Bhattacharya.

Air India is also mulling talks with Star alliance, over transit flights from Dubai, particularly to South America and Africa.

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