Chandigarh got air connectivity with Bangkok today, with Air India launching a direct flight to the famous south-east Asian tourist destination from here. The flight of the national carrier, which will be operating thrice a week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday – took off from here at about 1350 hrs carrying over 120 passengers. The maiden flight from the Thailand’s capital reached Chandigarh International Airport in the morning before it took off for the return journey in the afternoon. An A320 Neo aircraft has been deployed on the route and the journey will take less than five hours. The 162-seater aircraft will have 150 seats for economy class and 12 in the business class category, Airlines Executive Director (Sales and Marketing), Pankaj Kumar said. The Chandigarh-Bangkok flight will be the third international flight from the airport here. Indigo and Air India’s subsidiary, Air India Express are already operating flights to Dubai and Sharjah from here for over a year now.
“After few weeks, we are expecting good passenger load on the route (Chandigarh-Bangkok),” Kumar said. Replying to a question, the executive director said in future one can expect more international destinations to be covered from this airport. “It takes some time to develop traffic and connectivity. Slowly, it will get more connectivity,” he said. The flight to Bangkok will take off from the international airport here at 2 pm and will reach the destination at 8.15 pm (Bangkok local time). From Bangkok, it will depart for Chandigarh at 5.40 am (Bangkok local time) and reach here at 9.20 am (IST).
Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) CEO Suneel Dutt said with the addition of latest flight to Bangkok today, 27 flights are operating from the airport here that includes the three international flights. Speaking on the occasion, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi, Isra Stapanaseth, said his country was a popular destination for the Indian tourists and he hoped with the addition of this flight, more and more people, especially from Punjab region can save on time and be able to travel conveniently.
Meanwhile, Dutt told reporters that the Chandigarh International Airport will remain closed for operations from February 12 to 26 next year due to runway repairs. “Due to runway resurfacing work by the Indian Air Force (IAF), the airport will shall remain closed from February 12-26 for all kinds of flights,” he said. He said the existing length of the runway is 9,000 feet and after resurfacing work, it will be increased to 10,400 feet. “After modification, we will be able to handle wide bodied aircraft and then we have chances of getting more international flights operating from here,” Dutt said.