Kozhikode: Wide-bodied aircraft will resume operations from the Calicut Intern-ational Airport, Karip-ur, from Wednesday after an interval of over three years. Though the services of big aircraft were banned citing the renovation of the runway in 2015, even after the work was over, big aircraft had kept away from the airport, which triggered a series of agitations.
Kozhikode MP M.K. Raghavan conducted a day-night hunger strike, following which other political camps, including the BJP, started campaigning for operations by big aircraft.
The Saudi Airlines was the first to express willingness to fly to the airport and started bookings from Thursday last.
The Airbus 330-300 aircraft with a capacity of 298 passengers will conduct services to Jeddah and Riyadh. The Jeddah services will be conducted on Monday, Wedn-esday, Thursday and Sat-urday and Riyadh services on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The services to Riyadh and Jeddah will start from Karipur at 1 p.m. while the ret-urn services will start at 3.15 a.m. and 4.5 a.m. (Standard Saudi Arabi-an time) from Jeddah and Riyadh respectively.
Though Air India is not operating services at this point, the airline will soon operate big aircraft in the Gulf sector, it is learnt. Mr Raghavan MP told reporters that though there were moves to organize agitations against Air India, the plan was withdrawn as the airline authorities expressed readiness to conduct services soon, he added.
“Discussions will be held with the higher officials of Air India in the coming days,” he pointed out.
The Kozhikode-based Malabar Development Forum also had fought for opening the airport for big aircraft. There were also allegations that lobbies had tried to check the development of the airport to ensure the success of Kannur airport....