Friday, June 28, 2019

Raja pitches for more int’l flights from city airport

Coimbatore: Nilgiris MP A Raja on Thursday raised in Parliament the long-pending issue of Coimbatore International Airport lacking adequate international connectivity. This has been a demand of industrialists in Coimbatore.
Speaking during the question hour, Raja asked the aviation minister why they were not allowing more foreign airlines to operate flights to and from Coimbatore.

He said why applications for flights to and from Dubai, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur were pending for a decade.

Raja said in his knowledge applications to operate flights between Coimbatore airport and Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Dubai were submitted almost a decade ago. Viability reports of the routes were also submitted but permission was not granted, he added.

Replying to Raja’s question, aviation minister of state Hardeep Singh said Indian air carriers can fly from any Indian airport to any foreign airport. He said, “Foreign carriers landing in India are determined by the Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA), in which Coimbatore is not included.”

“Our policy is to ensure our Indian carriers get maximum number of passengers, for which they have to induct wide-bodied aircrafts. Once we know foreign carriers have exhausted their share of BASA locations, we will look at options,” he added.

While Singh’s reply was what the central government has been maintaining for the past six years, industrialists demand for an interim quick connection to Europe at least.

“After years of demanding and negotiating, we have good flight connections by Air India to the US and Japan, through their hub in New Delhi. While at least 20 passengers fly daily, 50 fly during holidays, we want good connections to Europe too,” a senior member from Kongu Global Forum said.
28/06/19 Times of India
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