Friday, September 06, 2019

Stakeholders irked over raw deal given to Calicut airport

Kozhikode: Calicut International Airport has got a raw deal in the meeting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had with representatives of airline companies on August 31 called to discuss the possibility of operating additional flights from Kerala in the domestic sector as well as to the Gulf destinations.
Not a single proposal for new flights has been approved for Calicut even as airline companies have offered to operate 29 additional flights from Kannur and Thiruvanananthapuram airports. Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola chaired the meeting.
“Kannur and Thiruvananthapuram airports had been promoted in the August 31 meeting. At the same time, only Kannur airport was on the agenda in the January meeting. In the case of Kochi airport, it has enough flights to various sectors,” Calicut airport Director K. Srinivasa Rao told The Hindu on Thursday. Adding to the woes of the airport, he said, airline companies had reduced six flight movements a day in the domestic sector and two in the international sector.
Indigo and Spicejet had shifted operations of international and domestic schedules to Kannur airport for various reasons. “Now it appears that people in Kozhikode, Malappuram and Wayanad will have to travel to Kannur to catch a flight to even south Indian destinations like Hyderabad,” Mr. Rao said. He said that Indigo had won auction route to start non-stop flights to Delhi under the UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) in April. Likewise, the airline has also been approved schedules for Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. “However, it has not started any services till now,” he said.
05/09/19 The Hindu
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