Trivandrum, India (INS News) — Kuwait Airways is will become the third foreign airliner to fly regularly to the Cochin International Airport at Nedumbassery when its maiden flight touches the airport at 06:00 hrs (local time) on March 25, according to the airport authorities.
The flights will reach the airport on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on a code-sharing basis with the Air India (AI). The Emirates Airlines, which is currently operating from Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai, will also start services by the yearend to the countrys only corporate airport, promoted mainly by the non-resident Keralites, the authorities said.
Oman Airways and SilkAir are the other international carriers operating from the airport along with Air India. The authorities hope to ease the difficulties of the Gulf-bound passengers and to give a boost to the states tourism potential with the increasing connectivity to various Gulf destinations as well as Europe.
The three weekly flights from Kochi to Kuwait will depart at 7:30 am while the flights from Kuwait will leave at 11 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and reach Kochi the next day. The A-300 aircraft has a seating capacity of 232 seats, from which AI will get 30 seats.
AI already has a weekly service from Kochi to Kuwait on Wednesdays and from Kuwait to Kochi on Wednesdays and Saturdays with its own Airbus 310 aircraft.
Oman Air and Silk Air are currently operating five flights a week from the airport. Several other airlines, including Saudia, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Yeen Airways, Aeroflot and Uzbekistan Airways are waiting in the wings.
Oman Air had its maiden flight to the airport on August 22 last year while Silk Air commenced its operations on October 28 on a code-sharing basis with Air India. The debt-ridden airport authorities expect to increase its revenue in a big way from the arrival of more international flights.
The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), which opened the airport in 1999, is Indias first state-of-the-art international airport built with the participation of the people, mostly non-resident Keralites (NRK) from 30 countries.
Meanwhile, the frequency of the Sri Lankan Airlines and Oman Air flights from the international airport here has been increased providing more links to the Gulf, Far East and to Europe from the state capital. Both the airlines are now joining Gulf Air and Qatar Airways in offering daily flights to the Gulf destinations from here.
Sri Lankan Airlines, which is operating the Airbus-320 aircraft with a carrying capacity of 140 passengers129 in economy class and 11 in business class, will operate daily flights from March 28 while Oman Air will follow suit from March 31. The flight will arrive from Colombo at 09:15 hrs and depart at 10:45 hrs and will provide immediate connections to Dubai, Riyadh, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, London and Singapore from Colombo.
Passengers to the Far East, Middle East, Europe and Gulf destinations will benefit from the increased frequency.
Oman Air will increase its frequency from the present five to six days a week from March 31 and to daily flights from June 1 using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which can accommodate 165 passengers, including 12 in the business class.