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”.
— Poulomi Saha (@PoulomiMSaha) January 4, 2022
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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