The wide-bodied aircraft of Air India and Emirates may soon commence operations from Calicut International Airport, possibly from next month.
The airlines have submitted the reports of compatibility, safety and mitigation assessments necessary for the operation to the authorities. However, the airlines are yet to receive ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) from civil aviation authority, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
Currently, Saudi Arabian Airlines is operating wide-bodied aircraft from Calicut airport.
Air India conducted two assessments, one in August last year and later in December. Emirates completed the formalities in March. The approval for Emirates got delayed due to the election, although the request was submitted towards the end of March.
Once approved, the schedules of the flights will have to be decided along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
Calicut International Airport will witness a large footfall during the Haj pilgrimage season. Considering the need, the Civil Aviation Ministry has already approved the schedule of the flights from Calicut to Jeddah from July 27 to August 5. There are also schedules approved from August 26 to September 14. Ministry has approved Boeing 767, Airbus 330-300 and Boeing 777-200 Extended Range for operating Haj flights from Calicut.
After the withdrawal of Jet Airways from the service, there is a huge demand-supply gap for the Gulf-bound passengers of Kerala. From Kochi airport alone, Jet had 42 weekly flight in the international sector and 28 in the domestic industry, currently leaving room for aviation players like Emirates and Air India.
Ria is a lead news writer at Aviation Scoop. She writes from dawn to dusk, reads in the evenings, and draws at some ungodly hours. She loathes human interaction, and finds solace in the sweet, musky smell of old books, and rain. Find her on Twitter here - @rialakshman.