Calicut International Airport in Kerala is currently in the process of seeking a no objection certificate (NOC) from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for Emirates to operate direct flights to the airport.
The NOC from DGCA will pave the way for Emirates to begin direct flight operations to Kozhikode (Calicut) in northern Kerala.
Calicut airport authorities’ move to secure an NOC for Emirates’ operations follows the UAE flagship carrier’s submission of its final report to them on Tuesday, after conducting a compatibility study along an AAI (Airport Authority of India) team at the airport earlier this month.
A high level team from Emirates also held negotiations with the top AAI officials at the airport on its requirements to commence operations to the Calicut airport.
“The final study report is being completed by including Emirates requirement and will be submitted to the DGCA through our (AAI’s) corporate headquarter in New Delhi shortly,” K Srinivasa Rao, Airport Director at Calicut, told Arabian Business.
The submission of the study report is part of the process to seek the NOC from the aviation regulator.
Rao said Emirates plans to commence operations to Kozhikode as soon as the NOC from the DGCA is obtained.
Emirates will be operating daily flights from Dubai to Calicut airport, Rao said.
An Emirates spokesperson told Arabian Business earlier that the airline keeps reviewing market opportunities both in India and globally but do not comment on speculation.
“Official announcement, if any, will be made at an appropriate time,” the spokesperson said when asked about the airline’s plans and time line for commencing operations to and from Calicut airport.
Emirates currently have a code share arrangement with flydubai, which operates direct flights from Dubai to Kozhikode.
When it starts operations to Calicut, it will be the third airport in Kerala to which Emirates operate direct flights from Dubai, in addition to Kochi and Thiruvanathapuram (Trivandrum).
Emirates is also keen to start direct flights to the new airport in Kerala at Kannore, and is awaiting the nod from DGCA for this, along with few other Middle East-based airlines.
Kerala is home to a significant number of expat Indians working in UAE. Additionally, a sizeable number of tourists and business travellers from the area make frequent visits to Dubai.
Other than the airports in Kerala, Emirates currently operates multiple daily flights to Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai in southern India.
The Gulf carrier also operates multiple daily flights to several western and northern destinations in India including Mumbai and Delhi.
Kozhikode and adjacent districts such as Malappuram and Wayanad are home to the largest portion of Keralite expatriates in the UAE.
Upgraded to an international airport in 2006, Calicut international airport – which belongs to the state-owned AAI – is estimated to be the twelfth busiest airports in India and the third busiest in Kerala. It currently handles approximately 2.7 million passengers annually.
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