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Thursday, 02 August, 2018, 14 : 00 PM [IST]

Kannur airport receives in-principle approval from MoCA for international operations

According to The Financial Express, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India has given in-principle approval to Indian carriers to run international flights from Kannur International Airport.

The INR 2,292 cr greenfield airport, which is the fourth airport in Kerala, is gearing up to go live for commercial flights in a couple of months. The decision on the permit was announced at a meeting convened in New Delhi by Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, MoCA.

As per the outcome of the meeting, agencies like AAI (Airports Authority of India) and others will be told to issue the required clearances by September 15, informed KR Jyothilal, Secretary - Aviation, Govt. of Kerala.

This decision will enable Air India, Air India Express, Jet Airways, GoAir, Spicejet and Indigo commence international operations from the airport. Since airlines make their second schedule for the year by October, getting the clearances by September would be well-timed, said airport officials.

However, foreign carriers are yet to be given the permit to run international flights from the new airport. Since Kerala is a hub of West Asian travellers, airlines such as Emirates, Ethiad, Gulf Air, Oman Air, Air Arabia, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, Fly Dubai, Air Asia, Silk Air, Sri- Lankan Airlines and Malindo Air had evinced interest for operating from Kannur.

Since 18% of the population of Kannur is employed abroad, the airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually. The number is estimated to increase five-fold by 2025.

Since KIAL ( Kannur International Airport Limited) had recently pulled out of Centre’s UDAN regional air connectivity scheme, worried by some of the caveats, MoCA offered a modified form of UDAN scheme for KIAL. The board of directors of KIAL will take a call on the scheme before taking up the offer, officials said.
 
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