Calicut airport: demand to increase seating capacity in flights

Ministry of Civil Aviation not responding to pleas by Emirates, say forums

The Malabar Development Council (MDC) and the Malabar International Airport Committee (MIAC) have urged the Ministry of Civil Aviation to increase the air passenger capacity of the Dubai-based Emirates by 2,500 seats a week in view of the the shortage of flights from the Calicut airport to Gulf destinations.

At a news conference here on Wednesday, leaders of MDC and MIAC asked the Centre to renegotiate the bilateral air service agreement between India and the UAE so as to benefit air passengers from Malabar. The shortage of seats in the Kozhikode-Dubai sector was causing hardship to passengers from the region.

Already, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has given No Objection Certificate to Emirates to resume the service of wide-bodied aircraft. However, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had not responded to the requests of Emirates representatives, C.E. Chakkunuy, MDC president, said.

He said that Emirates senior vice president (Aeropolitical and Industry Affairs) Salem Obaidalla had apprised Secretary of Civil Aviation Pradeep Kumar Kharola of the issue last month. The Calicut airport could be connected to over 200 destinations in the world with Emirates resuming flights. This would, in turn help tourism, health and IT sectors and improve cargo service in Malabar, he added.

The office-bearers also alleged that vested interests were behind torpedoing the growth of the Calicut airport even as several developments were taking shape. These included the restoration of Haj embarkation point to Calicut after five years, resumption of services of Code E aircraft by Saudia, and DGCA approvals given to Air India and Emirates to operate jumbo jets. Besides, a state-of-the-art new international arrival block was commissioned in February.

Now, the airport was awaiting a positive response from the State government to allot land for parking space. The government should also start low-floor buses from the Calicut airport to various parts in Malappuram and Kozhikode districts, they said.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:08:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/calicut-airport-demand-to-increase-seating-capacity-in-flights/article28526209.ece

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