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Flights

Getting around by air

Netaji Subhash Bose International Airport

Rebuilt in 2013, the glassy Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport has an impressive terminal building, although services can get strangely bottlenecked at times, especially in the departures area. If you're flying out, arrive with ample time and expect long queues at passport control and security check.

Kolkata has a vast selection of domestic connections from early morning to late night. It's also a useful hub for regional flights linking Bangladesh (Air India, Biman, Jet Airways and Regent Airways), Bhutan (Bhutan Airlines and Druk Air), Myanmar (Air India) and Nepal (Air India). East Asian destinations include Bangkok (Air Asia, IndiGo, Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Thai), Hong Kong (Dragonair), Kuala Lumpur (Air Asia), Kunming (China Eastern Airlines) and Singapore (SilkAir). For long-haul connections to Europe and the USA, there are daily flights via Abu Dhabi (Etihad), Doha (Qatar Airways) and Dubai (Emirates).

Several airlines have offices with booking counters in the city.

Air Asia

Air India

Druk Air

Emirates

Jet Airways

Transport Options

NSCBIA Airport is around 16km northeast of central Kolkata. A dedicated feeder road accesses the new combined terminal from the south (VIP Rd) via Airport Gate 1. Integrated within the arrival lounge of the terminal are several public-transport options into the city, including a computerised train ticket booking counter (booth 25) for trains out of the city.

AC Bus

Airport buses start from a stand that's a minute's walk south of Arrivals Gate 1A. Pay on board. The punctual AC-39 departs hourly, stopping en route at the Esplanade bus station (₹80, one hour) before terminating at Howrah train station (₹100, 1½ hours).

City Bus

Cheap ordinary buses and minibuses are available if you walk about 500m south of the airport terminal building to reach the VIP Rd crossing. Look out for carriages to BBD Bagh (₹20) and Howrah (₹25). Bus 237 will take you to the ferry pier at Babughat (₹20), while bus L238 connects to Howrah train station (₹25). The ride will be crowded and sweaty, and there may not be room for large bags or suitcases.

Taxi

Fixed-price yellow taxis cost ₹320/380 to Sudder St/Howrah train station, taking around one hour when traffic is kind. Prepay at booth 12 in the new arrivals area between exits 3B and 4A. Radio taxis offer an air-con ride into town, charging around ₹20 per kilometre, and are available at booth 11.

Metro

The airport metro spur line from Noapara should be operational by 2017. For now, the closest station is Dum Dum, 5km southwest by buses 30B and DN9/1 from Airport Gate 2 on Jessore Rd.