HAINAN Airlines will introduce thrice-weekly direct services between Shenzhen and Kolkata from July 12, using Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a configuration of eight business-class and 154 economy-class seats.
K. Goswami, of Kolkata-based Travelcorp, said: “The timing of the new flight is great because our holiday season in October is just around the corner. Moreover, there has been increasing interest in FIT travel to China, Hong Kong and Macau over the past two years.”
The three-and-a-half hour flight to Shenzhen will offer onward connections to about 20 cities in China. Hainan Airlines will provide complimentary coach transportation from Shenzhen airport to Hong Kong, which is less than an hour’s drive away. Bus services from the airport to Guangzhou will also be available for a reasonable fee.
At the moment, Kolkata is linked to Kunming via flights operated by China Eastern Airlines. Kolkata has no other direct connections to China, and travellers usually have to transit through Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to go to China and Hong Kong.
Special promotional fares are being offered by Hainan Airlines for travel before July 31 from Kolkata to Shenzhen and several other destinations.
Kolkata, the main gateway of eastern India, has substantial trade links with China, while Indian participation in the Canton and Hong Kong trade fairs is becoming increasingly common.
By Sirima Eamtako