Purnea-Patna air service restored after 34 years

Patna,(BiharTims): After 34 long years Purnea on Tuesday came back on the air map of the country.
The 9-seat Spirit Air plane flew passengers from the Chunapur defence airport, 10 km from the divisional headquarters, to Patna.

In association with Bangalore-based Door to Door Services Limited (DTDS) the Spirit Air Private Limited started the non-scheduled flight services on Kolkata-Patna-Purnea and Purnea-Patna-Kolkata routes. The flights would be operated twice a week on this route. The company is also keen to start Patna-Gaya non-scheduled flights soon.

Wing Commander Viswajeet Kumar gave the green signal at the 11,000-foot-long Chunapur runway. The Wing Commander assured that he would try his best to turn the airport into a full-fledged air terminal for direct flights to New Delhi and other destinations in the country.

According to Spirit Air personnel manager Sachin Prasad the bi-weekly Kolkata-Patna-Purnea and Purnea-Patna-Kolkata flights would operate every Tuesday and Saturday. If there is a positive response, its frequency would be increased. The flight takes just 50 minutes to fly from Purnea to Patna.

DTDS officials said they would fly even with a single passenger in the nine-seat Cessna 208 B Karwan aircraft (C208B). On the first day of their operation, the DTDS had booked all the tickets for Kolkata-Purnea, Purnea-Kolkata flights while seven seats were reserved in Purnea-Patna flight while only four seats were booked in Patna-Purnea flight.

Manager (sales), DTDS, Shyamal Chakraborty said the ticket prices would remain the same at least for next six months. It would be on a no-profit, no-loss basis now. He further said it costs around Rs 25,000 to the company for a single side operation, which includes pilot’s salary, landing and parking fee, passengers’ services and routes and navigational facilitation charges (RNFC).

However, there is a lurking fear that the service could be suspended as DTDS had last June withdrawn a charter flight on the Patna-Jamshedpur-Ranchi route, which it started in February for want of passengers.




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