Air India has announced that it will operate a direct service between Kolkata and Dubai for four times a week. Precisely, there will be two flights to Dubai every day, except on Mondays.
Air India will deploy Airbus A320neo extended range aircraft on the route. The seating configuration will be 12 business class and 150 economy class. The one-way ticket fare starts at nearly INR 12000, and return fare costs INR 20,600.
Air India primarily targets business travellers for the flight. Air India continues to offer one of the best business class offerings and has high loyalty among the passengers who have flown business class with the airline, Times of India quoted an unnamed airline official.
Air India is operating a west-bound flight from Kolkata after 15 years. The previous west-bound flight was to London. The service was later discontinued citing reduced business class load. Air India, otherwise, operates four international flights from Kolkata. There is a daily flight to Dhaka, a service to Kathmandu and Bangkok four times a week, and two times a week to Yangon in summer and three times a week in winter.
Meanwhile, the Directors of Air India are meeting early July to discuss the sale of airline’s properties across the country and also to transfer the non-operational assets to a government-approved special purpose vehicle (SPV). In February 2019, the government has approved the setting up of SPV.
Air India has kept a target to raise INR 500 crore through the sale of land assets. However, reports cite that Air India properties have legal disputes that prevent the airline from executing the transaction. There are also reports that the government is ready to privatize the loss-bearing airline. The government has also transferred INR 29,464 crore of INR 50,000 crore debt of Air India to the SPV.