Wednesday, August 5, 2020
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Kolkata expats feel the pinch

Dubai: When it comes to options, expats travelling from the UAE to Kolkata are severely restricted with only Emirates providing a direct link between Dubai and India’s eastern metropolis.

True, it flies twice a day and often at full capacity, but with the airline increasing its capacity in other Indian cities and more Indian airlines starting operations to the UAE, Bengali expats here feel short-changed. 

Pabitra Das, who resides in Dubai, said: “Although it is convenient to have a direct flight, people flying to other big cities in India have more options. Moreover, the fare is also always high for Kolkata.”

Hirak Dasgupta from Sharjah said: “There is one Qatar Airways flight which goes to Kolkata via Doha, but it takes off and lands at unearthly hours. I wish we had more options.”

Ashish Bhowmik is another Sharjah resident who has always flown direct to Kolkata. But he plans to do it differently this time. “I am taking the Air India flight to Delhi and then to Kolkata. It will take more time, but it will cost me less. Earlier there was only Royal Brunei from Dubai and Kolkata and now only Emirates. We never had any options,” he said.

Salem Obaidalla, Emirates senior vice-president of commercial operations told XPRESS: “Emirates has an open-sky policy in Dubai which means we welcome competition. I think you should ask aviation authorities in Kolkata why there are no other direct flights operating from there to this part of the world.”