Sunday, December 15, 2019

MPs seek Saudi flights from Kial

Kannur: Amid uncertainties over the development of Kannur International Airport Ltd (Kial), which has been denied ‘point of call’ status by the Centre, thus preventing foreign airlines from operating here, the Parliament members from the north Malabar region have launched a joint effort to get more flights, especially wide-bodied aircraft, to various destinations in Saudi Arabia.
Since many people from the region are working in the Middle East, and also there are many people who go for the pilgrimage like Umrah and Haj, the airport needs wide-body aircraft to Jeddah and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, which Air India can operate, said MPs K Sudhakaran, Rajmohan Unnithan, K Muraleedharan and K K Ragesh in a memorandum to civil aviation ministry secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola on December 13. Since the government has not given the point of call status to Kial, foreign airlines cannot operate from Kannur and in this condition, the only option is to ask Air India to operate bigger aircraft to accommodate more people, and hence the campaign.
Sudhakaran had earlier raised the issue in Parliament demanding the Centre to change its stance and permit foreign airlines as many operators have expressed their willingness to come to Kannur. Various trade bodies and other organizations have also launched the campaign to bring foreign airlines to Kannur, without which the airport, which completed one year this month, cannot improve at the revenue front or successfully launch cargo service in the international sector.
15/12/19 Times of India
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