Oman Air and Go Air have initiated discussions on connecting Kannur and Gulf by air, since North Kerala, Mysore and Coorg witness a large number of expats travelling to and from GCC countries.
Within a month from starting commercial operations, the Rs 1,892-crore greenfield Kannur International Airport (KIAL) has garnered interest for its potential Gulf segment. Oman Air and Go Air have initiated discussions on connecting Kannur and Gulf by air, since North Kerala, Mysore and Coorg witness a large number of expats travelling to and from GCC countries.
“From February 1, Go Air will begin international services from Kannur. In fact, Go Air has brought four aircrafts to Kannur airport from Delhi, in prelude to commencing service to Doha and Kuwait,” a senior official of KIAL told FE.
As international carriers are expected to get permission to start service from Kannur by March, Oman Air too has offered to conduct service from Kannur in the coming months.
At present, Air India Express runs Kannur to Abu Dhabi services thrice a week. Indigo had announced that it would start domestic services from Kannur from January 25, connecting Kerala’s fourth international airport to Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Goa.
In the PPP (public-private-participation) model KIAL, Gulf-based NRIs including Lulu Group chairman MA Yusuf Ali, holds more than 33% equity, Kerala government holds 33%, BPCL 22.54% and Airports Authority of India holds 10%.
With 17.5 million passengers, the three international airports in Kerala had logged the third largest number of air passengers in India in 2018. With the commercial bookings through KIAL picking up, KIAL officials project that by the end of 2019, the total air passengers from Kerala would cross 20 million.