Sunday, July 07, 2019

More UAE flights to Calicut as wide-body planes return

The wide-body aircraft of Emirates and Air India may soon be allowed to resume operations at Calicut International Airport, according to India's civil aviation authority, which confirmed that an approval has been granted. For Indian expats in the UAE - especially those who often travel to the Malabar region - it was a "huge relief".

"It's good news. I live in Calicut and, due to the high flight costs, I have to travel all the way to Mangalore in Karnataka for air travel to and from Dubai. With more options, charges will surely drop," said TV Devan, a Kozhikode-native from Sharjah.

A Malayalee in Dubai welcome the additional options. Expat Suja Menon said: "It would be better if we had more options to and from Calicut, otherwise, flight costs to airports in Kerala are very high."

According to documents issued by the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in India, which has been procured by Khaleej Times, Air India and Emirates have received approvals to resume day-time flights for an initial period of six months. Both airline companies submitted reports on the compatibility study and safety assessment in August and December 2018 and March 2019, respectively.

The operation of wide-body aircraft was banned at the Calicut airport from May 2015, in the wake of the court of inquiry report on the Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in Mangaluru in May 2010. A wide-body aircraft is a passenger airplane that is wide enough to accommodate two passenger aisles and has at least seven seats across.

Calicut International Airport director K. Srinivasa Rao has said the operation has been restricted to day time for an initial period of six months and will be reviewed for night operations at a later date.

"As per the NOC issued by the DGCA, the code E type of aircraft operation is restricted to day time only and will be reviewed after six months of commencement of operations," said Rao.
07/07/10 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times
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