Kannur International Airport Opens, First Flight Flagged Off to Abu Dhabi
An Air India Express flight with 180 passengers to Abu Dhabi became the first flight to be flagged off from the airport at 10 am. All passengers received a gift each from the airport authorities.
Kannur International Airport was thrown open for public on Sunday
Kannur: The north Malabar region got a global gateway on Sunday after Kannur International Airport (KIAL), the fourth in Kerala, was thrown open by chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu.
An Air India Express flight with 180 passengers to Abu Dhabi became the first flight to be flagged off from the airport at 10 am. All passengers received a gift each from the airport authorities on the occasion.
Budget carrier GoAir will also launch direct flight services to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai from Kannur International Airport on Sunday.
GoAir will operate a special flight between Delhi to Kannur to facilitate guest movement, the airline said in a release. Kannur would be GoAir's 24th destination in its domestic network, it added.
Ahead of its inauguration, singer and director Vineeth Sreenivasan released a deeply emotional and melodious song, 'Aakashapakshi Chekeruvan', highlighting the expectations of the people from the airport.
The 1 minute 40 second-long theme song exhorts a bird (a metaphor for the new airport and its planes) to carry the state's hopes on its chest and flap its wings as it flies into the sky.
Translating and explaining the lyrics of the song, a local media report said that as the instrumentation reaches a rousing crescendo, it urges the airport to take the state of Kerala to greater and greater heights.
A video of the song was posted on YouTube by Kannur International Airport.
The KIAL is slated to serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually. Flights that would operate from here includes those to the UAE, Oman, Qatar, besides domestic ones to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai among others.
Hundreds of people, including politicians, were present to witness a cultural programme ahead of the take off of the Abu Dhabi flight. Two more flights were listed for the day.
The airport is the second greenfield airport to be built under public-private partnership (PPP) model in Kerala after Kochin International Airport. It is the fourth international airport in the state, the rest are in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode.
The airport would be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time. It is expected to boost tourism in Kannur, Kasargode, Wayanad and increase trade and commerce in the handloom and spices sectors.
The Kerala government owns 32.86 per stake in KIAL, while 22.54 per cent stake is held by state and Central Public Sector Undertakings. Another 35.21 per cent holding rests with others, including qualified institutional buyers (QIBs), individuals, companies, while the remaining 9.39 per cent stake is with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
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