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Goa Airport to Start Operations for Russian Charter Flights from December 30

Goa International Airport. Image used for representation. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@aaigoaairport)

Goa International Airport. Image used for representation. (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@aaigoaairport)

Charter flights account for the bulk of the international arrivals of tourists to Goa. Nearly half a million foreign tourists arrived in Goa in 2019.

Russian charter operators have sought landing slots at Goa’s Dabolim international airport ahead of the New Year celebrations in the coastal state, airport director Gagan Malik said on Tuesday. “We got a request for slots from Russia. They have announced their first flight from December 30. They have sent a request for nine flights," Malik said.

“This is the third charter request for this season. Their request is currently for nine slots. Maybe depending on the situation they may increase it. They will be operating twice a week - Thursday and Saturday. Things are improving for now," he also said.

Nearly 900 charter flights mostly from Russia, UK and Germany annually found their way to Goa before the Covid pandemic struck last year, closing down all international travel. Charter flights account for the bulk of the international tourists’ arrivals to Goa. Nearly half a million foreign tourists arrived in Goa in 2019.

After the Central government allowed the landing of charter flights at Goa’s only airport from November 15, interest of international charter companies has slowly started germinating, Malik also said.

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The official further said that the Airports Authority of India has already approved slots for two other charter companies namely Air Astana, the official carrier for Kazakhstan and SCAT, also a Kazakh charter flight company.

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first published:November 25, 2021, 10:30 IST