Indian regulator gives Emirates airline approval to operate Calicut flights

India’s aviation regulator has granted the required of no-objection certificate (NOC) to Dubai’s Emirates airline that will allow it to operate direct flights to Calicut International Airport.

India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation is believed to have granted the NOC to Emirates last week.

The state-owned Airport Authority of India (AAI) said it’s now waiting on Emirates to decide when it wants to start operations to the Kerala airport.

“We have conveyed the NOC to Emirates and requested for further action from their side. A date [to start operations] has not been intimated by the operator (Emirates) yet,” Calicut International Airport director told Arabian Business.

Emirates declined to divulge its planned start date.

“Emirates is always reviewing market opportunities both in India and globally. We do not comment on speculation,” a spokesperson for Emirates told Arabian Business.

“Official announcements, if any, will be made at an appropriate time,” the spokesperson said, adding that Emirates continues to serve Southern India with its existing multiple daily flights to Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai.

AAI officials said both Emirates and Air India have also been allowed to operate wide-bodied aircraft to Calicut airport, with operations restricted to day time only.

Air India officials have earlier indicated that it may commence operating wide-bodied aircraft to Calicut during the forthcoming winter schedule, starting from October end.

Currently, Emirates has a code-sharing arrangement with Flydubai to fly its passengers to Calicut.

Authorities at Calicut International Airport, which is currently pitted against the newly opened Kannur International Airport in Northern Kerala, have been keen to get Emirates to start direct services to the airport, as they want to attract as many operators from the Middle East and some of the countries in Southeast Asia to fly to the AAI-operated airport.

Though many of the Middle East carriers have sought permission from DGCA to operate direct services to Kannur, they are yet to get the nod for it.

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