Thiruvananthapuram airport likely to be Haj embarkation point
However, in addition to Karipur airport, the Hajj Committee of India is expected to incorporate Kannur airport as a new embarkation location this year.
Published: 16th January 2023 05:37 AM | Last Updated: 16th January 2023 05:37 AM | A+A A-
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In the wake of persistent demands raised by the Haj pilgrims of South Kerala and South Tamil Nadu, the Thiruvananthapuram airport is likely to become a new Haj embarkation point in the state. As part of it, the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited (TIAL) wrote to the Haj Committee of India two weeks ago.
The TIAL is optimistic about including the airport as the new embarkation point in the state, as the Kerala State Haj Committee has also recommended to the Haj Committee of India that it include Thiruvananthapuram airport as the new embarkation point.
At the moment, the only departure point is Kochi airport.Karipur airport, which was previously a key embarkation point for pilgrims from North Kerala, was recently removed from the list of embarkation points due to the 2020 accident and the pandemic. However, in addition to Karipur airport, the Hajj Committee of India is expected to incorporate Kannur airport as a new embarkation location this year.
“We have sent a request to the Haj Committee of India to include Thiruvananthapuram airport as the new embarkation point as many pilgrims, especially senior citizens, could not travel to Kochi for boarding flights to Jeddah. There are many pilgrims from southern Tamil Nadu demanding an embarkation point here. So we are expecting a positive reply from the Hajj committee so that we can add more flights from here to Jeddah and Riyadh, “ said a source close to TIAL.
When Thiruvananthapuram had the state’s only international airport, a few pilgrims used it to travel to Haj in the 1970s and 1980s. According to Kerala State Haj Committee officials, 25 airports in the country have been listed as embarkation points now. “ We have recommended Thiruvananthapuram airport to be included as the new embarkation point on the basis of the request letter from TIAL.
However, the Haj pilgrims are very few in southern Kerala and in Tamil Nadu. But we recommended Thiruvananthapuram airport also as there is a demand, “ said C Muhammed Faizi, Chairman, Kerala State Haj Committee. Meanwhile, the state government has taken steps to facilitate the runway expansion of Karipur airport which would enable the reinstating of the Haj embarkation point at the airport.