MANGALURU: Expats from Kuwait, have demanded more flights to the country from Mangaluru.

Expats from undivided Dakshina Kannada, working in Kuwait, have demanded that airlines offer more flights to the country from Mangaluru International Airport.

This demand comes after Air India Express, which was earlier operating tri-weekly flights to Kuwait, reduced it to only one flight operating on Sunday from January.

According to an Air India Express official, during the summer schedule, it will only operate one flight per week. Data from Directorate General of Civil Aviation reveals that, per annum, a total of about 20,000 flyers flew to and from, between Kuwait and Mangaluru. It translates into 1,650 flyers every month from tri-weekly flights. “Soon after learning about the reduction in frequency of flights, we tweeted demanding an explanation and, to restore the services. The reply was not satisfactory. We are uniting all associations and planning to give a memorandum to the government urging AIE and other airlines to start additional flights to Kuwait,” said expat Mohandas M Kamath. He added that direct flight to MIA is more convenient than flying via other airports to reach Mangaluru.

Expats are now forced to fly to Bengaluru, Mumbai, Goa, or Kannur airports to reach their hometowns. They shared that taking two flights, including a domestic flight, is not at all a convenient affair.

“I had travelled along with my children and landed in Mumbai. It was a difficult journey because I had to transfer from an international airport to a domestic airport with heavy luggage. I have to repeat the process once again when I return to Kuwait. It’s not all a smooth journey. When the Kuwait flight from MIA was flying full, what was the need to reduce it to one and cause inconvenience to many who depended on it,” a woman flyer shared her ordeal, adding that travelling to other airports has the advantage of cheaper tickets but costs one’s time.

The reduction in flights is also directly affecting the income of porters and cab drivers. “It’s better earning when you get more flights,” commented a cab driver. The AIE spokesperson was not available for comment.



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