Calcutta is soon to be connected to Sikkim through airways and leading airline of the country SpiceJet is to make it happen from October 4 onwards. The flights flying between Calcutta and Sikkim will land at Sikkim’s Pakyong which is only 30km from Gangtok. With the beautiful tourist destination in North-East being connected to one of the major cities of the country, the tourists in the destination are expected to increase from now on.
Bookings for the SpiceJet flight between Calcutta and Sikkim are made open on Friday. Amazingly enough, the airline, which is operating under the Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN, is offering the flight service at a one-way introductory fare of Rs 2,600.
The director of the Pakyong airport, R. Manjunatha, said, "Necessary clearances have come from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. We are making the final preparations now. In January, Druk Air will start its twice-a-week service between Pakyong and Bhutan's Paro. A number of chartered flight operators have contacted us for slots."
The terminal building at Pakyong is spread across 3,200sq m.
As per the schedule released by the airport authorities, the flight will depart at 9.30 in the morning from Calcutta and arrive at Pakyong at 10.55 am. It then departs from Pakyong at 11.15 and arrives in Calcutta at 12.45 pm. However, this Pakyong departure schedule will be followed only from October 4th to 15th. From October 16th onwards, the Pakyong departure will be 2.50 pm and arrive in Calcutta at 4.20 pm.
The SpiceJet flight between the two states will be a 78-seater Bombardier Q400 series aircraft. As this new flight arriving at Pakyong will take the tourists much closer to the Sikkim capital than before, it is expected that the tourist rate will show a great boost this year. Till now, passengers can fly to Bagdogra in Siliguri only which is 123km away from Gangtok.
Anil Punjabi, chairman, east, Travel Agents Federation of India, says, "We are getting a lot of queries about Pakyong. This year we are expecting a huge demand for Sikkim because the flood-hit Kerala is no longer an option for many."