Thursday, June 29, 2023

As Kerala plans for 5th international airport, Kannur airport in doldrums

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala boasts of being the only state in the country with four international airports, while a fifth one at Sabarimala is on the anvil, but the sad fact is the fourth international airport at Kannur is presently having a hand to mouth existence.

The Kannur airport revenues are rock bottom with just two airlines -- Air India Express and Indigo -- operating a handful of flights.

The airport operations have been hit hard after Go First which operated over 200 flights a month temporarily stopped their services and before that when Air India also withdrew.

Kannur airport opened amid big fanfare in 2018 and in less than a year there were 50 daily flights, but five years later the airport is undergoing difficult times.

Despite numerous representations to the Centre, foreign airlines continue to duck this airport on the grounds that Kannur airport is not in the metro category, and the 'point of call' does not become applicable, which is a criterion for foreign airlines to operate.

Former Leader of the opposition and veteran Congress legislator Ramesh Chennithala has alleged that the government was deliberately allowing the Kannur International Airport to be in the red so that it can be 'gifted' it to Adani Group and wanted a Comptroller and Auditor General of India audit to be conducted at the airport.

29/06/2023 IANS/Daijiworld

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