Thursday, July 11, 2019

Industrialists demand direct flight to Dubai

For the past five years, industrialists in the district have been demanding direct connectivity to Dubai or Kuala Lumpur, hubs for international flights, from where they can fly anywhere in the world. In 2014, they held a meeting with former aviation minister Ashok Gajapati Raju to request for the same. “We don’t mind any airline, including Air India, flying us directly to Dubai. Or we don’t mind a short stop in Chennai if we can complete immigration in Coimbatore and don’t have to collect our luggage and re-check it in,” president of Residents Awareness Associations of Coimbatore R Raveendran said. “But if Air India does not find it viable to operate a direct flight and neither does any other Indian private airline, what is the harm in allowing a foreign airline to do so? We just want connectivity,” another engineering product exporter A Karthik said.

Industrialists point out that none of the Kerala airports have such restrictions of allowing foreign carriers to operate routes that domestic carriers have already begun operations on. “All airports in Kerala, including Trivandrum, Kochi, Kannur and Calicut, have international carriers operating to UAE destinations,” said Raveendran. “The lack of a direct flight to Dubai and an early morning flight to New Delhi, makes us have to flyout from Kochi, Bangalore or Chennai to get a flight to Europe,” a garment exporter from Tirupur P Praveen said.
11/07/19 Times of India

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