Rains hit Muscat-Kerala flights

Flights to and from the state of Kerala in India, parts of which are badly affected by the monsoon floods, have been disrupted due to diversions and rerouting.
Several flights from Muscat International Airport were either delayed or rerouted resulting in a domino’s effect of further delaying services to other cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru. Air India Express’s Muscat- Kozhikode flight was rerouted to Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday.
“Flight services to and from Kerala sector were affected literally globally because of the delays and diversions and we had to either divert or delay many of the services ex-Muscat International Airport,” an airline official, who preferred not to be named, told the Observer.
“However, all airlines have managed to take care of their passengers and the delays of few hours were tolerated seeing the disaster that Kerala is facing,” he added.
Three airlines connect Kerala with Oman between Muscat International Airport and 4 international gateways of the state, Kannur, Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram. While Oman Air, the national carrier of Oman, flies to 3 cities except Kannur, Air India Express flies to all 4. However, GoAir connects Muscat with Kannur alone whereas its Kochi service is a connection flight with its hub, Mumbai, in between.
“Air India Express is operating flights to Trivandrum as Cochin airport is closed. From Sunday, Muscat to Cochin flights of Air India Express will land at Cochin. Hardly 10 per cent of the passengers opted to postpone or cancel their travel plan and 90 per cent have opted to go to Trivandrum,” Mahesh Chawdhury, Country Head of the airline said.
The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) authorities, in a statement, said that the Kochi Airport is ready for operations from Sunday, after the water receded and the aprons were cleared of mud and water.
“We have carried out the cleaning operations after the water from apron area receded. We have also carried out the ferry operations and three out of eight aircraft which were stranded at the parking bay departed,” the statement further said. Last year too, the airport was shut for many days during the floods.