Friday, October 7, 2016

Air India rejigs Northeast operations from Kolkata

by Soumen Mukherjee
Starting from the winter schedule, Air India is restructuring its Northeast flights from Kolkata with triangular flights being converted to terminating return flights same as it abandons such routing on international too. The airline is also adding second daily flight to Agartala and increasing frequencies of Aizawl, Dibrugarh, Dimapur and Silchar route from Kolkata at the same time dropping the Dimapur-Dibrugarh route and the Imphal-Aizawl sector while the Aizawl-Imphal sector will still have two-weekly flights. Due to poor demands on these intra-Northeast sectors lead to suspension of these few services where Air India operates its 144 seater all economy Airbus A319 as of today. Bagdogra-Kolkata is the only Northeast route where Air India is scaling back to three weekly service compared to four-weekly during summer.


After SpiceJet and Jet Airways, Air India too is making major changes in  from Kolkata. While SpiceJet has recently introduced new services on Kolkata-Aizawl and Kolkata-Silchar routes. Jet Airways is withdrawing its non-stop service on the Kolkata-Jorhat route but will provide one-stop connectivity via Guwahati. Vistara too is scheduled to launch Kolkata-Guwahati flight from 18 October As of August 2016, Air India along with its Air India Regional deploy 21.5% of its CAT-I capacity on the CAT-II routes and 1.8% on the CAT-IIA routes. Following the restructuring of these Northeast flights from Kolkata, the CAT-IIA capacity is likely to decrease while CAT-II capacity will improve.


From late October Air India is adding second daily frequency on the Kolkata-Agartala route. The new evening flight will complement well with the existing morning flight and will together offer better same day return option on the route. This is in addition of Air India Regional's five-weekly (x4,5) service on turboprop aircraft (ATR-42) which was launched on April this year.

Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 743
Kolkata: 09:55
Agartala: 11:00
till 28 Oct
x6
AI 743
Kolkata: 13:50
Agartala: 14:50
till 29 Oct
6
AI 743
Kolkata: 09:55
Agartala: 11:00
eff 31 Oct
daily
AI 745
Kolkata: 18:10
Agartala: 19:10
eff 30 Oct
daily

AI 744
Agartala: 11:40
Kolkata: 12:40
till 28 Oct
x6
AI 744
Agartala: 15:25
Kolkata: 16:20
till 29 Oct
6
AI 744
Agartala: 11:30
Kolkata: 12:30
eff 30 Oct
daily
AI 746
Agartala: 19:40
Kolkata: 20:30
eff 30 Oct
daily

Kolkata-Silchar frequency is also being increased to daily from the winter schedule. Air India Regional too fly three-weekly (2,4,6) ATR service on the route. SpiceJet has also recently entered into the route in early October.


Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 753
Kolkata: 05:50
Silchar: 07:05
till 29 Oct
1,3,5,7
AI 711
Kolkata: 05:50
Silchar: 07:05
eff 30 Oct
daily

AI 754
Silchar: 07:45
Kolkata: 09:05
till 29 Oct
1,3,5,7
AI 754
Silchar: 07:45
Kolkata: 08:55
eff 30 Oct
daily


Air India is de-linking its Dibrugarh and Dimapur flights from Kolkata. The airline is increasing Kolkata-Dibrugarh frequency to five-weekly terminating return flight while it is currently part of Kolkata-Dibrugarh-Dimapur-Kolkata triangular routing. IndiGo also operates daily flight on the Kolkata-Dibrugarh route. 

Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 705
Kolkata: 10:00
Dibrugarh: 11:45
till 29 Oct
2,4,6
AI 705
Kolkata: 05:55
Dibrugarh: 07:30
eff 30 Oct
x1,6

AI 709
Dibrugarh: 13:30
Kolkata: 15:20
till 29 Oct
3,7
AI 706
Dibrugarh: 08:10
Kolkata: 09:35
eff 30 Oct
x1,6


Air India is increasingtThe Dimapur-Kolkata frequency to six-weekly in the winter schedule from two/three-weekly frequency as of today. IndiGo is the only other carrier that operates on this route. And till today Dimapur remains the only station in IndiGo network where the LCC operates just a single daily flight to Delhi via Kolkata.


Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 709
Kolkata: 10:00
Dimapur: 11:40
till 29 Oct
3,7
AI 709
Kolkata: 11:20
Dimapur: 12:40
eff 30 Oct
x6

AI 705
Dimapur: 13:50
Kolkata: 15:20
till 29 Oct
2,4,6
AI 710
Dimapur: 13:20
Kolkata: 14:35
eff 30 Oct
x6
.

























Supply in the Dimapur-Dibrugarh sector is overwhelmingly surpass the demands with passenger volume not even crossing the single digit mark despite Air India flying 144 seater Airbus A319 service, three-weekly on Dibrugarh-Dimapur direction and two-weekly on the opposite direction. The Northeast region in general lacks good road-rail connectivity but the 218 km Dimapur-Dibrugarh route is particularly well served by rail with more than 10 daily express trains including two Rajdhani Express plying daily between the city-pair.
I had highlighted this disparity in the demand and supply long back in March this year. And it is good to see finally the good sense prevailed as the service will be discontinued from late October. This will lead to the entire sector being dropped from countries air-map effective from winter schedule.

Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 709
Dimapur: 12:15
Dibrugarh: 12:55
till 29 Oct
3,7
Service to be discontinued
eff 30 Oct

AI 705
Dibrugarh: 12:20
Dimapur: 13:15
till 29 Oct
2,4,6
Service to be discontinued
eff 30 Oct

Aizawl is another route from Kolkata where SpiceJet has recently started its Q400 service and Air India too is increasing its service on the mainline jets. The airline is increasing the frequency from four-weekly to daily on the Kolkata-Aizawl sector while the return leg is only available for five days a week. On the rest two days it will head into Imphal before coming back to Kolkata.

Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 711
Kolkata: 11:45
Aizawl: 13:05
till 29 Oct
3,5,7
AI 711
Kolkata: 12:55
Aizawl: 14:00
eff 31 Oct
x5,7
AI 715
Kolkata: 12:55
Aizawl: 14:05
eff 30 Oct
5,7

AI 713
Aizawl: 15:20
Kolkata: 16:30
till 29 Oct
1,2,4,6
AI 712
Aizawl: 14:35
Kolkata: 15:45
eff 30 Oct
x5,7



Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 713
Kolkata: 11:45
Imphal: 13:10
till 29 Oct
1,2,4,6
AI 713
Kolkata: 10:50
Imphal: 12:05
eff 30 Oct
2,3,4,6

AI 711
Imphal: 15:10
Kolkata: 16:30
till 29 Oct
3,5,7
AI 714
Imphal: 12:40
Kolkata: 13:55
eff 30 Oct
x1




While Air India will continue the Aizawl-Imphal sector at the reduced frequency (two-weekly compared to three-weekly as of now), the airline will completely withdraw from the Imphal-Aizawl sector leaving the without air-connectivity. Though the passenger demands and other dynamics of the Aizawl-Imphal route are relatively better than that of Dimapur-Dibrugarh route.

Flight No.
Origin: Departure
Destination: Arrival
Service
Freq.
AI 711
Aizawl: 13:45
Imphal: 14:30
till 29 Oct
3,5,7
AI 715
Aizawl: 14:40
Imphal: 15:25
eff 30 Oct
5,7

AI 713
Imphal: 13:50
Aizawl: 14:40
till 29 Oct
1,2,4,6
Service to be discontinued
eff 30 Oct

5 comments:

  1. Hi , can you please clarify the Aizawl Imphal/Imphal Aizawl sector situation? As I understand AI will still operate Azl - Imphal flights but it will discontinue Imphal Aizawl flights. Is that correct? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, you are absolutely correct that Air India is set to discontinue Imphal-Aizawl sector while continuing flights on the Aizawl-Imphal sector as it was clearly mentioned in the blog above.

      Delete
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