Karipur: After a gap of three years, wide-body flight operations resumed at the Calicut International Airport in Kerala with a Saudia Airlines from Jeddah landing here on Wednesday. Airbus 330-300 of the Saudi Arabia airline landed at Karipur at 11.10 am on Wednesday.
Following safety concerns, wide-body aircraft operations were suspended since May 2015 at the airport, which handles around 2.6 million international passengers every year.
Since 1 May 2015, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) had imposed the restriction of wide-body aircraft due to runway re-carpeting which had been long overdue at this airport. As a result, Emirates, Saudia and 2 Air India 747 flight operations had to be moved temporarily to the Cochin International Airport. People's representatives from constituencies in and around the airport had met officials to expedite restarting of wide-bodied aircraft operations to Jeddah and Riyadh.
Saudia would operate flights from Calicut to Jeddah on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday as well as to Riyadh on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
The carrier would operate wide-body planes - A330-300 and B777-200ER - for the services.
The profit-making Calicut airport handles more than 3 million passengers annually and out of them, around 2.6 million are international fliers.
A wide-body aircraft is a jetliner with a fuselage wide enough to accommodate two passenger aisles with seven or more seats abreast.
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