The Kerala Association of Travel Agents (KATA) has urged Minister of State for Civil Aviation K C Venugopal’s intervention to end the ‘neglect’ of Air India and the Civil Aviation Department towards the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport.
“Of the 120 services operated by the Air India Express from the state to the Gulf sector, the share of Thiruvananthapuram airport was only 22,” Association president K V Muraleedharan and general secretary Channankara Kunju said. Five services to Mumbai and one to Sharjah were also cancelled during the Christmas-New Year season citing shortage of pilots.
The services to Dammam, Bahrain and Goa, which were cancelled in last May citing the pilots’ strike, has not yet been reintroduced.
Though Kochi and Kozhikode airports managed to reintroduce the services with the help of local MPs, the capital lacked such a leadership to uphold its cause.
Air India had also cancelled the Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode service which was started after a long-time demand by the State Government.
The Association also demanded the Minister to withdraw the user fee charged at the airport which was fixed at Rs 575 without holding a public hearing.
The Air India hangar in the capital has not yet started full-fledged operations even after six years of inception.
The delay in full-mode functioning denies 2,000 job opportunities and huge income loss to the national carrier.