Expatriate organizations from Bahrain and Kuwait had requested a shift in timings at the Mangalore International Airport (MIA). According to a report by TOI, international passenger movement in MIA has dipped to 26% compared to August.
Last August, nearly 70,373 passengers flew whereas only 51,920 international passengers used the airport this year. Domestic passenger movement has seen a negative growth of 14.8% while including international passengers, the movement has seen 18.7% negative growth.
Local reports state that expatriates now prefer using the Kannur International Airport instead of MIA to travel to Gulf countries. The bankruptcy of Jet Airways has led to Air India Express being the only flight that operates to Bahrain and Kuwait from MIA.
Most of the flights from Kannur to Gulf countries are cheaper when compared to Mangaluru. Sometimes, the fare difference comes up to Rs 10,000.
Various organisations from Kuwait and Bahrain had submitted a memorandum, twice, and had requested Nalin Kumar Kateel to shift the timings to night. Both Bahrain and Kuwait are reported to have more than 3 lakh expats from undivided Dakshina Kananda.
“Now the airport in Mangaluru is of no use and flights are not scheduled as per the convenience of passengers. Hence, it’s natural that passengers prefer Kannur airport over Mangaluru,” stated a passenger to Dajjiworld.
TOI also reported that V V Rao, airport director, MIA said that he was aware that many people were using Kannur airport due to cheaper fare and convenient timings. He further stressed that this did not have an adverse effect on passenger traffic. He also highlighted that Mangaluru airport was not at all lost to Kannur.