Bagdogra Airport's traffic up by 60%
Kolkata: The number of passengers travelling via Bagdogra Airport is up by 60 per cent for April to October 2017, in comparison to travel data corresponding the same months of the previous year.
Looks like the state government's decision to waive tax on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) in Bagdogra has paid off. Many feel that a higher influx of travelers choosing Dooars and Darjeeling as a tourist destination, has also played a role in increasing Bagdogra Airport's passenger load.
It may be mentioned that this is the second record that the North Bengal airport has set in 2017. The first being, crossing the mark of having 2,00,000 passengers travel via Bagdogra Airport. On crossing this benchmark, it got declared as a "major airport" with a footfall of over 1.5 million passengers in 2016-17.
According to sources, number of passengers that availed Bagdogra Airport from April to October in 2016 was 7,83,197, while for this year, it is a whooping 12,48,611 passengers.
Rakesh Sahay, Director of Bagdogra Airport, said: "The state government's policy of waiving off tax on aviation turbine fuel (ATF) has played a major role in increasing the number of passengers availing flight services to reach the northern part of the state."
At present, 21 flights including 12 direct flights from Delhi, seven from Kolkata and one each from Guwahati and Mumbai connects with Bagdogra on a daily basis.
Eight airlines operate flights to Bagdogra. There is also an international flight,
which connects Bangkok and Paro in Bhutan via Bagdogra twice a week (Tuesday and Friday).
At present, air fare for travelling from Kolkata to Bagdogra is almost the same as that by a train. This is another reason why more people have started availing the flight services, as they save on time, despite shelling out the same fare the only catch being, that one has to book the air tickets a fortnight in advance.