Kolkata To Cooch Behar Flight Services To Be Started By Private Airline. 4th Time’s A Charm?

by Mallika Khurana
Kolkata To Cooch Behar Flight Services To Be Started By Private Airline. 4th Time’s A Charm?

Nisith Pramanik, the Union minister of state for home affairs, announced on Friday that a private airline company based out of Gujarat will begin operating flights between Kolkata and Cooch Behar on February 15, 2023. The route will be served by a nine-seat aircraft operated by Ahmedabad-based IndiaOne Air.

Flight Services Restart In Cooch Behar

Cooch Behar Aiport
Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

This is the fourth time in the past 12 years that efforts have been made to establish an air connection between Cooch Behar, West Bengal’s remotest district, and the state capital, Kolkata.   

Along with representatives from the airline company, Pramanik visited this airport on Tuesday and announced that the service would begin on February 15. From Cooch Behar to Kolkata and vice versa, the one-way fare will initially cost ₹999. For the first three months, the Centre will provide assistance through the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) programme. The state government is also providing all the required support at the airport.

In 2019, everything seemed to be in place, and the services were due to begin shortly. However, once the said services were announced,  there was a halt. After the state withdrew policemen on duty at the airport, it was stranded. And now, four years later, the services are set to start again.

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The Services Will Start From February 15

Police officers from the district police are already stationed at the airport. In order for them to carry out their duties without incident, their training has also started at the airport, according to reports.

The service has officially begun, according to IndiaOne Air CEO Arun Kumar Singh. The service will run every day. The nine-seater aircraft will take approximately one hour and 45 minutes to travel from Cooch Behar to Kolkata. The plane will arrive there daily at 12:10 PM and depart for Kolkata at 12:30 PM.

Residents of the town are still somewhat dubious. Private airline companies have been coming and going since 2011. This time around, they are hopeful it will continue to function. One resident expressed the hope that the services would continue this time.

What do you think? Will fourth time be a charm?

Cover Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons