ETW Staff – Kolkata
David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom assured Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of West Bengal during his interaction with her at the British Deputy High Commissioner’s Office, that he would take up her request for British Airways’ return to the city. “Bengal, the erstwhile hub of the British empire, will again be one of the focal areas of United Kingdom in coming days,” said Cameron during his recent daylong visit to Kolkata.
A delegation of business leaders from the city during their meeting with Cameron, also impressed upon the need for the airline to touch down at Kolkata. “Though, it is not for me take the final decision. But my coming here should send a positive message to the airline. I will take up the issue of a direct service between London and Kolkata,” stated Cameron. British Airways withdrew its Kolkata – London flight in 2008. Kolkata is now the only international airport in one of the four metros to be left without a direct flight to Europe or the US.
Furthermore, allaying the apprehension of visa restriction, Cameron said Indian students were welcome in the United Kingdom in any number and work in graduate employment after studies. “There is no limit on the number of people that can come and study at British universities. They have got to have an English language qualification, a place at an university but there’s no limit on the numbers that can come,” he said. His assurance came amid a visa row between the two countries in the wake of the European nation suggesting several restrictions.