Domestic flights are resuming across the country on Monday but in Calcutta they have been deferred till Thursday following a request from the state government in view of Cyclone Amphan.
Calcutta was to have seen more than 150 flights take off and land on Monday. Airlines now have to redraw their schedule.
The civil aviation ministry held a meeting on Sunday and decided to defer flight operations in and out of Calcutta and Bagdogra to May 28.
Late on Sunday evening, the airlines were holding a video conference with officials of the directorate general of civil aviation to revise the flight schedule across the country because Calcutta’s flights were not operating, sources said.
Those who had booked tickets on flights to and from Calcutta on May 25, 26 and 27 would be able to use them on other dates in a specified period, officials of airlines said.
“We have informed the airlines that flights would operate from May 28. They have to prepare fresh schedules,” said Kaushik Bhattacharya, the director of the Calcutta airport.
He said about 80 fights were scheduled to take off from Calcutta on Monday and a similar number was to land here.
But several airlines said they were planning to reduce the number of Calcutta flights when they resume operations from the city because there is not much demand.
SpiceJet officials said they had planned to operate 25-odd flights from Calcutta on Monday but the count can go down to less than 20. IndiGo sources, too, said they would not operate the number of flights they were planning to.
“There are some demands in the northeast sector and the flights there could have 80 per cent occupancy. But in other sectors, it would not be more than 50 per cent,” said an official of a private airline.
Metro reported on Sunday that chief minister Mamata Banerjee would request the Centre to operate domestic flights to Calcutta and Bagdogra from May 30 and May 28, respectively.
The request was made because the state was busy handling the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan. “We will get a
few more days to handle the situation. We are fighting three battles together — disaster, corona and sending migrant workers home,” Mamata had said.