Several airlines cancel flights to West Asia

Air India stops operating wide-bodied aircraft from Karipur

March 11, 2020 09:02 pm | Updated 09:02 pm IST - Kozhikode

In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak globally, several airline companies have either cancelled indefinitely or temporary suspended their services to West Asia and also to domestic destinations from the Calicut International Airport.

As of now, 31 international flights and seven domestic flights have been cancelled over the past one week even as several Gulf Cooperation Council ( GCC) nations are adopting immigration-related measures to contain the epidemic. Saudia (Saudi Arabian Airlines) has cancelled its flights to both Jeddah and Riyadh.

SpiceJet has cancelled its flights to Jeddah via Bengaluru. Similarly, Oman Air has cancelled eight flights from March 1 to 11, K. Srinivasa Rao, Airport Director, told The Hindu on Wednesday.

He said Air India Express has cancelled flights to Kuwait and Doha. Likewise, Indigo has cancelled all its flights to Doha. Estimates are being prepared to ascertain the exact dip in the arrival and departure of especially international passengers from West Asia. “The fall now stood at 22.7% when compared to December last,” Mr. Rao said.

Air India had commenced operating its jumbo flights to Jeddah from February 17 after a gap of five years. But the wide-bodied aircraft has been replaced till March 28. Now the national carrier is operating the narrow-bodied Airbus A320 Neo from its existing fleet following the shortfall in the number of passengers. It was operating Boeing 747-400 aircraft initially.

The demand has fallen so badly that some airline companies are trying to woo customers with discounted fares. But meetings and conferences have been cancelled. Also, families planning to travel abroad for the summer vacation has cancelled their ticket.

The GCC countries have issued orders for quarantining passengers who have visited China, Hong Kong and Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand. Countries such as Kuwait have banned the entry of nationals from the countries including India in the 14 days prior to travel to that country. Oman has also banned nationals of China, Iran and Italy. But it is quarantining passengers arriving from Japan or Singapore.

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has issued a travel advisory for COVID-19 for Indians intending to travel abroad.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.