Travel Companies request the WB Government to revoke ban on flights from the 6 major cities

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Travel Companies request the WB Government to revoke ban on flights from the 6 major cities

State should rethink its decision, said they

Friday, 14th August 2020

Two Travel Agent Companies have requested the government of West Bengal to rethink about its decision to suspend the passenger flights to the state capital of Kolkata from the six worst hit cities in the pandemic scenario. The flight ban with regard to the arrival of flights from the cities like Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmadabad and Nagpur to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport of Kolkata was imposed for the first time from the 6th of July and this ban was supposed to be for 14 days. The ban was extended initially to the 31st July and then to the 15th of August and then again till the 31st of August.


Manav Soni, Chairman of TAAI (Travel Agents Association of India) of the Eastern Region wrote to West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to rethink the decision on the flight ban while Anil Punjabi, Chairman of TAFI (Travel Agents Federation of India) wrote to Alapan Bandyopadhyay, the Home Secretary.


In the letter written to the Home Secretary, dated 10th of August, the association requested the state government to think again about its decision to suspend flight so that the people of West Bengal who are stuck up in these cities and also the ones who travel for business purposes can get benefited through such direct services.


“We need your support towards restarting, restructuring and restoring travel and tourism Industry,” read the letter to the West Bengal CM.


“During this pandemic, the tourism industry has incurred one of the heaviest losses. So, to increase revenue and boost the industry, we need the government’s support and guidance. To check Covid spread, the government may impose strict Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for passengers coming from those six cities. Passengers may be asked to undergo Rapid Antigen Test on arrival at the airport and should stay at institutional quarantine till the results are available,” said Anil Panjabi on this Thursday.


In the letter from TAAI it was advised that a detailed SOP may be used to attend to the problem.“As a safety measure, Kolkata Airport can introduce Rapid Antigen Test that gives instant result for Covid-19 infection… If any passenger does not opt for the test, then that person will have to remain in 14-day home quarantine. The health department counter will issue quarantine paper and copy of which will be given to local municipal corporations or panchayat offices and police station for intimation and close monitoring purpose,” read the letter.


The letter further added, “Symptomatic passengers will have to undergo institutional quarantine process. For passengers entering West Bengal, e-pass will be better option than any mobile app, which a lot of passengers are unable to operate. A simple module in the state government website to generate e-pass will be more effective to keep a track on all incoming passengers. This e-pass will also help them travel inside the state for business and travel purposes.”


However, according to sources the West Bengal government hadn’t yet decided to lift the imposed flight ban decision right away.


 “It is very difficult to revoke the decision immediately as these cities are still hotspots,” said a senior official from the state government of West Bengal.



Source: Indian Express

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