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India’s Calicut airport plans direct air links with Sri Lanka

India’s Calicut airport plans direct air links with Sri Lanka

The Hindu: India’s Calicut International Airport may soon have direct air links with Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Colombo if the assurances made at a meeting of people’s representatives and airport-airline officials held in Karipur on 19 February are implemented.
Malaysia’s budget airline AirAsia, has evinced interest to operate services from Karipur to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok while Sri Lanka’s low-cost airline FitsAir has come forward to fly between Colombo and Karipur.
The budget airlines of Malaysia and Sri Lanka stepped in to tap the potentials of Karipur even as many other foreign airlines remained wary of the Calicut International Airport’s future in the wake of the inordinate delay in resuming services of wide-body flights from Karipur.
The meeting, chaired by Airport Advisory Committee chairman Abdussamad Samadani MP, also made assurances about increasing domestic flight services to Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi and international services to Jeddah.
AirAsia and FitsAir have expressed willingness to begin services from Karipur with the hope of ensuring connections to countries like Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, China, Philippines and Japan.
Samadani and other people’s representatives (MPs) such as M.K. Raghavan; Elamaram Kareem; and T.V. Ibrahim, MLA, said that the arrival of AirAsia and FitsAir would be a good beginning for Karipur in its new phase of development. They said that the airlines of other countries too would come to Karipur in the coming years.
The meeting raised several demands, including connectivity to Goa, Srinagar, Ahmedabad, Pune and Kolkata. The MPs pointed out that the service to Kolkata would help a large number of migrant workers from north-eastern States.
Air India Express officials said that they would increase the services to Thiruvananthapuram from Karipur. While airlines such as IndiGo, Flynas and SpiceJet promised more services from Karipur, Saudi Arabian Airlines said that it would have to wait until large flights are allowed to be operated from Karipur.

OSL take:
Sri Lanka and India enjoy strong bilateral, trade and tourism ties that have been further strengthened by an operational free trade agreement (FTA). Both Sri Lanka and India are also focused on further enhancing ties between the two countries by strengthening connectivity. Sri Lanka and India are looking at developing connectivity between the two countries on several spheres ranging from power, energy, land and sea. It is in such a backdrop that India is looking at increasing the number of flights being operated to Sri Lanka from several key cities in India. Sri Lanka is also in the process of developing the country’s regional airports to strengthen the domestic flight network as well as enable direct flights between the respective regional airport and key cities in India. Given the growing connectivity between the two countries and the expanding economic activities in Sri Lanka, Indian businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka and vice versa. Indian businesses could look into business, trade, investment and tourism industries in Sri Lanka as potential business opportunities.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20240305/Z_3

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