Vistara to operate flights between Delhi/Mumbai and Kolkata with a tech-stop, 5 days of the week

At the beginning of January 2022, West Bengal had mandated that all airlines operate flights from Delhi/Mumbai to all West Bengal airports only two times a week. IndiGo announced cancellations for three months.

Vistara to operate 1-stop flights between Delhi/Mumbai & Kolkata till the end of January 2022

Vistara has now decided to make many flights to Kolkata 1-stop from Delhi and Mumbai for the month of January 2022. On a normal day, Vistara operates non-stop flights from Delhi (5 a day) and Mumbai (3 a day) to Kolkata + 2 flights a day from Delhi to Bagdogra. The Bagdogra flights seem to be cancelled for the time being.

As we write this, all the non-stop flights have already been taken off sale from the Vistara website, and you are only going to be able to buy 1-stop flights into these airports on Vistara. Since the flight number does not change, it means you can stay on the plane for an extra 30 minutes. These stops are listed as technical stops, so it means that the airline won’t be changing crew or cargo on these routes.

As you can see, Vistara has moved from 5-a-day Delhi – Kolkata to 3-a-day Delhi Kolkata, routing two flights via Lucknow and one via Raipur. On the return from Kolkata to Delhi, these flights will operate directly

Similarly, from Mumbai, Vistara is routing at least one flight via Bhubaneshwar with a tech-stop. The return leg will operate directly.

There are almost 25 daily flights between Delhi and Kolkata and 15 daily flights between Mumbai and Kolkata.

I can’t even imagine how this works, but full marks to Vistara for creative thinking here, and perhaps exploiting a loophole. Although, they are in letter complying with the wishes of the West Bengal government, in spirit they are not. The note issued by West Bengal said,

This is to inform that in view of the rising number of Covid cases, the state government has decided
that with effect from 5 January, 2022 all incoming domestic flights from Mumbai and Delhi to West Bengal
will be temporarily allowed only twice a week on Monday and Friday until further orders.

I am just wondering that what will the boarding pass say when the passenger boards this flight. Will it say Delhi – Kolkata, for instance? Or will there be two separate boarding passes issued between Delhi – Raipur and Raipur – Kolkata for instance. The normal process would be to issue just one. And then, the passenger could have some explaining to do as they arrive in CCU since these passengers should ideally have not landed in the state.

Vistara, in a press statement issued to the media, stated that flights from Delhi and Mumbai operating into the state will be “non-operational”.

Bottomline

Vistara has pulled the plug on non-stop flights between Delhi/Mumbai and Kolkata airport till the end of January 2022, apart from flights on Monday and Friday. In the days ahead, you can still fly on 1-stop flights connections via other Indian cities into these airports. It will just add thirty minutes to your already long flight.

What do you think of Vistara’s creative solution to West Bengal’s embargo on flights from Delhi and Mumbai into West Bengal?


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About Ajay

Ajay Awtaney is the Founder and Editor of Live From A Lounge (LFAL), a pioneering digital platform renowned for publishing news and views about aviation, hotels, passenger experience, loyalty programs, travel trends and frequent travel tips for the Global Indian. He is considered the Indian authority on business travel, luxury travel, frequent flyer miles, loyalty credit cards and travel for Indians around the globe. Ajay is a frequent contributor and commentator on the media as well, including ET Now, BBC, CNBC TV18, NDTV, Conde Nast Traveller and many other outlets.

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Comments

  1. The passengers need not worry about getting caught with a single boarding pass which says boarded at Delhi on the non allowed days bcos the state machinery in West Bengal is so pathetic that nobody will even come and check the same. They never even bothered with checking the rt-pcr tests when it was mandatory for inbound pax. Such anti people/anti business moves can only be formed by a state govt like Bengal’s.

  2. had the same though immediately after the govt.’s announcement , that this is the only plausible solution. People usually get 2 boarding cards , hence the technicality works.

    • @saurav, beats me though. since this is a direct flight with pax not deboarding the plane, they should get just one boarding pass – Delhi – Kolkata for instance. Because that is their true origin/destination. For my halt flights, I’ve always remembered getting one boarding pass, and these are then checked on the plane to ensure that the pax who are on board are the ones who are supposed to be there.

  3. I usually get 2 boarding passes for my direct/ through flight journeys (which has technical stops)
    On AI CJB-MAA-DEL I got 2 boarding pass.
    On 6E CJB-CCU-IXB I got 2 boarding passes.
    On 6E CJB-BLR-JAI I Got 2 boarding passes.

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