Gulf Airlines may operate two daily flights to Kannur International Airport, says a report published by Arabian Business. According to the report, the airline has applied for permission to the Indian aviation authority the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and is awaiting its approval. On similar ground, few Indian airlines may also receive permission to operate to various airports in the Middle East.
In an exclusive interview provided to Arabian Business, Mr. V. Thulasidas, Managing Director of Kannur International Airport revealed that it had recommended DGCA to sanction this application. We have written to the civil aviation ministry and DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for special permission for allowing two daily flights each by airlines from Gulf countries which plan to operate their flights to KIAL in the initial phase,” the report quoted.
However, if the permission is sanctioned, the operating service will be outside the scope of the seat-sharing pact that has a limitation on the maximum number of seats allowed between India and the Gulf countries. Being new, Kannur International Airport is not a part of the present bilateral rights. According to Mr. Thulasidas, KIAL has requested to DGCA to include the additional flights to Middle East destinations in the bilateral rights between India and Middle East countries.
KIAL expects 1.8 million passengers in the first year
Besides Gulf Airlines, other prominent carriers are also said to have expressed interested to operate flights to KIAL. KIAL estimates around 1.8 million passengers in the initial year of operation. A major share of cargo is also expected to arrive, especially from the Gulf countries. The airport also lies next to regions that are known for spices, handlooms and textiles, and the cargo from these regions are expected to depend on KIAL for exports. KIAL has a proximity to regions such as Coorg and Mysore. Hence, the authorities expect passengers from these regions to fly via KIAL.
The airport, developed on the public-private-partnership model, will also provide concessional landing and parking charges to all airlines. The airport will charge Rs. 500 for international flights and Rs. 150 for domestic flights.