Proposal to divert flights to Calicut, Kannur airports

Calicut airport entrance.

Calicut airport entrance.   | Photo Credit: S. RAMESHKURUP

Flight operations will be regulated at the Kochi airport from November 20 to March 28, 2020 for the mandatory runway re-carpeting.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation will consider a proposal to divert a few flights to Calicut and Kannur airports following the partial closure of Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) for four months from November.

Flight operations will be regulated at the Kochi airport from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from November 20 to March 28, 2020 for the mandatory runway re-carpeting. The partial closure of the airport will not affect international traffic as a majority of flights are operated from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. But around 35 domestic services will have to be re-scheduled, it is learnt.

For the record, the Calicut airport had proved its prowess when the Kochi airport was shut down for a fortnight owing to floods in August last year. It handled around 180 additional movements, both in international and domestic sectors, apart from the unscheduled rescue flights.

For the Kannur airport, which was commissioned in December last year, business is yet to pick up. Many sense sluggish footfalls despite poaching passengers from Calicut and Mangaluru airports.

Following the flooding of the Kochi airport last year, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had rescheduled domestic flights from Thiruvananthapuram, Calicut, Mangaluru, and Coimbatore.

Meanwhile, Saudia will resume Haj flights with wide-bodied aircraft from the Calicut Airport from July 7. Air India will operate its jumbo flights to West Asia, while Emirates is awaiting approval from the Director General of Civil Aviation for operation of wide-bodied aircraft soon, officials said.

At present, Indigo, Spicejet, and flydubai are operating international services at maximum occupancy rates.

Given that the partial closure of the Kochi airport will affect daytime flights, CIAL does not want to lose revenue during the said period. Consequently, the company has requested airline companies to re- schedule their timings.

The Calicut airport was also partially shut down for 15 months from June 2015 for runway re-carpeting. However, it was closed only from noon to 8 p.m. then. The airport functioned with flights being operated during the remaining period. But operation of wide-bodied aircraft was banned.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 1:07:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/proposal-to-divert-flights-to-calicut-kannur-airports/article28103740.ece

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