Flyer count up two-fold in second Kolkata-London flight – Times of India

Kolkata News

KOLKATA: The second direct flight to London after the civil aviation ministry gave a go-ahead to the service that had been suspended eight months ago has recorded a two-fold jump in passenger count on the Kolkata-London sector against the inaugural flight last Sunday.
Sources in AI said that the second flight had recorded nearly 85% occupancy, up from barely 35% occupancy in the first flight that departed for Heathrow last Sunday.
The second flight took off from Heathrow at 1.15pm local time on Saturday and will touch down at Kolkata at 3.05am on Sunday. It will then depart Kolkata at 4.30am and will reach Heathrow at 9.55am local time.
“Apart from 200 bookings in the economy class for the Kolkata-London leg, what is extremely heartening is that 16 of the 18 seats in the business class have been booked. With Durga Puja a month-and-a-half away, it augurs very well,” an airline official said.
The starting fare in the economy class is Rs 28,000 while on the business class, it is Rs 70,000. Though it is the former that make up the volumes, it is the latter that gives airlines high yield.
Demand for business and first class in flights across the world has soared due to safety concerns as fewer passengers are accommodated in this section and there is more distance between adjoining seats.
There were around 90 passengers who departed in the first flight. An international flight usually takes around three-four months to stabilise and record a decent traffic. Incidentally, the inaugural flight was announced barely a week before its departure, by which time most of the people who were required to travel would already have booked flights.
Traffic on the Kolkata-London sector sees a spike between September and January as people residing in London usually travel to Kolkata to meet with relatives and friends and vice versa.
“We expect a lot more people to travel this year because most of them have not ventured anywhere in the past year-and-a-half and are now desperate for a break as well as to meet family members,” said a travel agent.