Gulf based airlines to attend meeting on special permission to operate Kannur Airport

Monday, January 7, 2019

India’s civil aviation ministry and Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan have jointly convened a meeting on January 21 to discuss, among other things, the issue related to granting special permission to airlines from the Gulf region and India to operate daily flights to the newly opened Kannur International airport from various cities in the GCC region.

The meeting will be attended by senior officials from leading airlines from the Middle East region and India.

The managing director of Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL) V Thulasidas and Civil aviation secretary Rajiv Nayan Choubey will attend the meeting, which is to be held in Trivandrum, to discuss various initiatives to be taken to develop the new airport.

At present, only the state-owned Air India Express operates international flights to Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and some other cities in GCC from the newly built Kannur airport, which was opened for operations on December 9 last year.

Go Air is the lone domestic carrier which operates from Kannur currently.

It is expected that a favorable decision will be taken at the meeting for special permission to Gulf-based airlines and Indian carriers to fly from Kannur to the Gulf region, outside the bilateral flying rights between UAE and other GCC countries.

KIAL had written to the union civil aviation ministry and director general of Civil Aviation, India’s aviation regulator prior to the inauguration of the airport, for allowing Gulf-based carriers to operate two daily flights to Kannur airport, outside the existing passenger capacities agreed under the bilateral flight rights.

It has also sought to allow domestic airlines to operate a matching number of flights to airports in GCC.

Such special dispensations on flights to Gulf region were granted to Cochin and Calicut international airports when they newly commenced operations.

India and many GCC countries are said to have already exhausted the airline passenger capacities under the existing bilateral rights and hence constrained to operate new or additional flights.

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