Thursday, May 09, 2019

Haj flights to be operated from July 7

Kozhikode: After a gap of four years, Calicut International Airport will begin operating Haj flights from July 7.

However, only Saudia (Saudi Arabian airlines) will be allowed to carry Haj pilgrims from the Calicut airport. “A total of 35 flights will operate from the airport till July 20,” K. Srinivasa Rao, Airport Director, told The Hindu on Wednesday.

The Haj embarkation point in the State had been shifted to the Kochi airport after the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) banned the operation of wide-bodied aircraft citing unsafe characteristics of the tabletop runway at the Calicut airport in May 2015. The restoration of Haj flights from the airport comes as a major relief for the people of north Kerala as 80% of pilgrims are from Malabar. Kochi will still be an embarkation point for Haj, and flights, including Air India, will operate from there from July 14 to 17.

Mr. Rao said that Air India would not operate Haj flights from the Calicut airport since the national carrier was yet to get approval from the AAI and the DGCA to operate wide-bodied aircraft.
09/05/19 The Hindu

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