A new private air cargo service connecting the city with the North-East will be operational in a week, giving a facelift to the region’s logistics system.
“The service will begin in a week’s time. Initially, it will be operated between Kolkata and Imphal,” Manosij Roy, the director of Rudra GTL Aviation Pvt Ltd, said.
Mr. Roy said the company has wet leased two ATR 72 aircraft from Deccan Cargo Express and Logistics (P) Ltd and these would be co-branded by Rudra GTL and Deccan.
West Bengal Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee said the government plans to set up more airports and seaports in the State to facilitate faster movement of cargo.
“We are planning to set up airports at Behala, Haldia and some other places,” he said at the launch of the service here last evening.
Observing that it was impossible for business to grow without proper logistics support, Transport Secretary B P Gopalika said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was in touch with the Centre for permission to develop the existing airfields at Asansol, Balurghat and Malda for commercial flight operations.
Flights five times a week between Kolkata and Cooch Behar, will begin from November 1, he said.
“Plans are also on to operate tourist helicopter services from Kolkata to the adjoining areas and from Siliguri to Darjeeling to help boost the tourism business,” he said.
The Founder of Deccan Cargo and Logistics (P) Ltd Capt G R Gopinath said his company had withdrawn its flights five months ago due to the lack of integration with the supply chain at the ground level.
“I am an incorrigible optimist. So when Rudra GTL came to us and said they can create the last mile supply chain, we saw in it a good opportunity,” Mr. Gopinath said.
After introducing the service between Kolkata and Imphal, Mr. Roy said, Rudra GTL will subsequently branch out to Guwahati, Bagdogra and Agartala.
The company also has plans for pan-India operations with chartered and passenger services, helicopter and air ambulance services and airport infrastructure development, Mr. Roy said.