Monday, September 14, 2015

Kannur flew, way before its first airport

Kannur: Kannur is all set to take wings with authorities of the Kannur International Airport burning the midnight oil to ensure that commercial operations at the airport begin by mid-2016.

However, this will not be the region's first brush with airline operations. Not many know that the first flight to the state had landed in this cantonment town - decades before the Kannur airport was conceptualized. The DH83 Fox Moth aircraft of Tata Airlines was the maiden flight of that operator to Kerala, under the patronage of Maharaja Chithira Thirunal, the last king of Travancore.

The operator started the service to Kerala on October 29, 1935, after the frequency of the Karachi-Madras flight, was increased to twice a week in 1934, according to the website of Tata. The weekly service between Bombay and Trivandrum had stops at Goa and Cannanore. Though Kannur was not a commercial stop, the small aircraft had to land here for refuelling. It was the time of the British reign and Kannur cantonment had an airstrip as the military headquarters here used to have several airmail from Bombay.
14/09/15 P Sudhakaran/Times of India
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