Cooch Behar in North Bengal is all set to be connected by air once again as a private airline will soon start scheduled flights between Coochbehar and Kolkata. According to IndiaOne Air CEO Arun Kumar Singh, the airline is initially planning to operate around five flights a week and start daily services in the next two months. "We are targeting to start flight operations between the two destinations from February 21 as calibration of some arrangements are yet to be completed," Singh told.
He told that the nine-seater Cessna Grand Caravan 208X aircraft will be operated in the airline sector. The flight from Kolkata will reach Cooch Behar at 12.10 pm, while the return flight will leave for the metropolis at 12.30 pm.
Singh said flights to Cooch Behar and back would be operated under the Centre's regional connectivity flight scheme. Singh said the airline will initially come with a promotional fare of Rs 999 for 9-10 days, while the normal fare will be around Rs 3,750. Since the flights will be operated under the scheme, there is a cap on the airfare. He also said that the Gujarat-based airline currently has two aircraft, and another one will be added to the fleet very soon. Before this, Union Home Minister Nishith Adhikari announced to start flight service from Coochbehar soon.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) regional executive director (east) Manoj Gangal said that flight services will start soon, but the date has not been fixed yet. The airline currently operates flights between Bhubaneshwar and Jaipur, Jaipur and Vizag, Bhubaneshwar and Jamshedpur and between Jamshedpur and Kolkata.
Cooch Behar Airport is spread over 174 acres of land. The length of the runway is 1,069 metres, while the width is 30 metres. The terminal building has the capacity to handle 100 passengers at a time. According to AAI officials in Kolkata, the scheduled flight operations to Cooch Behar had stopped several years back. Vayudoot, a regional airline, previously operated flights to the region. Later, in 2011, a non-scheduled airline from the Northeast started operations between Kolkata and Cooch Behar, but the services were short-lived.