Sunday, March 31, 2013

Another dis-konnection...

The decision by the Jet Konnect authorities to discontinue the flight 9W-2895/2896 from Kolkata to Silchar and back from 31st March, 2013 onwards has come as a huge shock for the people of Barak Valley.
 
Photo Courtesy: Dipalay Dey
The afternoon flight connecting Kolkata was introduced by Jet Konnect last October following the success of its flight 9W-2875/2876 that flies from Kolkata to Silchar early in the morning (0515 hrs) and then flies back to Kolkata at 1255 hrs after returning from Guwahati.
 
9W-2895 which used to fly from Kolkata to Silchar at 1355 hrs and then fly back to Kolkata at 1555 hrs was a great help for the people of the valley. The service was a huge boon, especially for those travellers who wanted to reach Silchar within a day from cities like Delhi, Mumbai or Bengaluru. They could easily fly to Kolkata from these destinations in the morning and then catch this flight to reach Silchar. The other afternoon service run by Air India (AI 753/754) flies only four days a week and is irregular with frequent cancellations.
 
While the exact ridership figures of this flight are not available with us, those who have traveled by this flight have always found it packed to capacity. Therefore, the decision to discontinue the service is even more baffling.
 
Once the news of this decision reached the people of the valley, especially Silchar, attempts were made to contact the Jet Konnect authorities. In fact, efforts were made through Facebook to ask as many people as possible to write to the airline requesting them not to stop the service.
 
However, unfortunately, the replies sent by the airline to most of the people signified nothing and gave no positive assurances. One of our readers who tried to contact Jet Konnect on this issue received this communication from them - “We thank you for your kind support and suggestions on the flights to operate as per the sectors mentioned by you. Let me assure you that your comments have been shared with the Marketing and Network Planning division keeping in mind the feasibility and economic viability of these routes. Thank you once again for taking the time to communicate with us.”
 
According to the Jet Konnect timetable, this flight (9W-2895/2896) figures in the list of Kolkata – Silchar services from October, 2013 onwards. However, the booking for the same has not been opened which raises doubts regarding the possibility of its resumption.  
 
As per figures released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), Silchar is the fourth busiest airport in the north east in terms of flight movements. It is also the second largest urban centre of Assam after Guwahati both in terms of population and municipal area. But smaller towns like Dibrugarh and Jorhat enjoy better air connectivity despite having better railway connectivity than Silchar. These facts are absolutely inexplicable and point towards apathy not only from the government but from the airline operators as well.  
 
Dibrugarh has two direct flights to Delhi and one to Ahmedabad. Jorhat has weekly flights to Bengaluru and Pune. Imphal and Agartala have plenty of flights to almost all major destinations across the country. But Silchar has flights to none of the major cities except Kolkata.
 
The broad gauge conversion project from Lumding to Silchar has missed many deadlines and looks set to miss many more due to tardy progress of work. The Mahasadak project is also mired in red tape with certain sections still awaiting forest clearances. In such a situation, proper air connectivity to the region is a must.
 
It is surprising that the public representatives who proudly take the front seats of the aircraft while traveling to Silchar and even delay the departures on some occasions, have chosen to remain completely quiet on this issue. We the common people, can only contact the airline authorities through e-mails and letters. But they are the ones who can meet the bosses, the ministers and bureaucrats concerned and can take up these issues. However, they have failed to deliver on almost all issues concerning the people and expecting them to deliver on this one would be incorrect. 

10 comments:

  1. we should put up an RTI regarding the load/demand of 9w2895 and why it was stopped.

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  2. @concern for silchar i am Dipalay n i am from silchar.... i want to mention that jetKonnect flight 9W2895/96 was a part of Jet Airways winter schedule flight and the time duration of this schedule is from october to march . These schedule was approved by DGCA authorities, so there is no change that Jet Airways can make without DGCA clearance , but as far as i am informed JetKonnect is planning to restart this 9W2895/96 service again on october as a part of their 2013 winter schedule, if you check their website www.jetairways.com you can find that from October onwards booking on 9W2895/96 are available. @concern for silchar it will be great if you start mentioning pic courtesy with pics that you attach ,the above given pic is my clicked pic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Dipalay Dey: We are aware that Jet Airways Flight 9W 2895/96 is a part of the winter schedule. The flight is resuming next October and will discontinue again next March. However, just because the schedules need DGCA approval, if we stop raising these issues then absolutely no one is going to listen to us. Moreover, the DGCA accords approvals to proposals from airlines. They do not decide the schedules themselves. Silchar needs many more flights than it actually has today. We sincerely apologise for the error in not crediting you for the photograph. We have always taken special care to credit the photos we use. It is being corrected immediately.

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  4. yes @concernforsilchar , i totally agree with your point of view, silchar still lacks behind in air connectivity and that also of big flights like Boeing and Airbus, even me too i have faced problems regarding low air connection on silchar route . Viewing your status i have personally mailed airlines like SpiceJet, IngiGo and Go Air regarding new proposed route CCU-IXS-CCU and have also cleared them that silchar can support Airbus Aircrafts, and in return Spicejet mailed me that they are in a soon plan to expand northeastern tierIII n IV cities specially using their new state-of-art aircraft Q400 whereas IndiGo and Go Air mailed me that they will personally see at this suggested new route. So i even request you and all your followers to please mail to these new airlines suggesting CCU-IXS-CCU route and thank you for mentioning the pic courtesy.

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  5. Dear Mr. Dipalay, you did a good job by mailing the airlines regarding CCU-IXS-CCU route etc. Can you please let us know how we can mail the airlines and what to write etc etc. We friends in Bangalore, Delhi, Silchar, Kolkata are concerned regarding this. If we all send PROPER MAIL to airlines it will be good for us.

    Thanks
    Nayan Ghosh
    Silchar-Bangalore

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Nayan Ghosh thanks for your support, the customer relation mailing ID for spicejet is: custrelations@spicejet.com, for GoAir it is: feedback@goair.in and for IndiGo you can simply go to their website www.goindigo.in and there you have to look below for feedback option and then click on it and write your message, in your message simply mention that you are suggesting them a new route i,e. CCU-IXS-CCU and made them clear that silchar can easily handle big aircrafts like A320/319 and B737-800 and in case of spicejet donot forget to mention that Q400 is also suitable for this route and tell them the present problem about lack of flights and specially mention them that we lack an afternoon flight and so if possible an afternoon will be the best option. I request you and all your friends to please mail to these airlines suggesting this route since the more number of votes they will get on this route the more concern they will be about starting new flights. Stay well :D.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Air India cheap flight to CCU are available from cities like Lucknow, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Bangalore, and others. Try to check out for the tickets a trifle early to search out packages and offers by the airlines.

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  8. Yes, I too agree with this great old persisting communication problem of silchar. At present the road condition from silchar to guwahati is horrible and terrific for families and childrens specially and nobody is certain of when the braod gauge train project will b started to silchar city. Being the 2nd largest city of Assam after guwahati in terms of population, none of the political party n administration is interested to focus the issue seriously for permanent solution for guwahati silchar highway n broad gauge. And one of the fair privilege for air connictivity 2 silchar by mainly air India n jet connect airlines is being curtailed as their own monopoly to operate flights to this sector. Most of the time flights remain cancelled without prior notification to travellers so that their connecting flights or trains shud get miss at Kolkata without refunding and further managing to travel n if we talk about hospitality of passengers then its absolute Zero. As the r doing meherbani 2 us the people who r assumed as trapped in valley.so, now I think this is the right time for go indigo or other airlines to take over this 4th busiest sector of silchar by operating direct flights to delhi /Banglore and turn many smiles of silcharians.readers pl share it max.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I really like this post. If anyone wants to enjoy in Mumbai then come with us and get flights from Kolkata to Delhi in Unbeatable price log on to flywidus.com because Koi bhi Travel Agent ya website isse sasta AIRFARE nahi de sakta.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good one. Thanks for sharing the information. Check out direct Delhi to Chandigarh flightsalso.

    ReplyDelete

Silchar through the Lense