Air Sahara will start a daily flight between Kolkata and the Bangladesh capital Dhaka later this year and plans are afoot to connect this eastern Indian metropolis with China directly in the near future.
The Kolkata-Dhaka service, the first international service from Kolkata by a private Indian airline company, is likely to start by November this year, said Alok Sharma, president Air Sahara.
"We have already applied to the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) for the necessary permission to start our Kolkata-Dhaka service," Sharma said.
"We are also planning to establish a direct air link between Kolkata and a Chinese city in the future. However, nothing has been finalised yet," he said.
"Plans are also on to start flight service to Southeast Asia from Kolkata," he said.
Air Sahara launched three new flights from Kolkata - to Patna, Lucknow and Ahmedabad - on Friday.
The company had earlier started a second frequency to Guwahati and would launch the Kolkata-Nagpur via Hyderabad route flight on Aug 25.
Air Sahara is also launching daily direct flights from Kolkata to Dibrugarh and Chennai and direct return flights to Port Blair on Sep 4 this year.
The frequency of the Kolkata-Delhi flight will be increased from the current three to five, the airlines said.
The company's expansion plan in Kolkata is part of its ongoing move to make the city the second largest hub, after Delhi, in the Air Sahara network.
"By December 2006 we will be offering 45 connections and 17 departures from Kolkata," Sharma said.
"The airline now has nine departures from Kolkata. In the next four months, Air Sahara will add 66 new flights and 14 new destinations to its network," the official said.