MANGALORE: Nine months after the suspension, the Mangalore-Kuwait Air India operations resumed on Monday with the first flight taking off from Mangalore International Airport at 7.30 am. The flight will go via Bahrain.

On board the first flight were Mangalore MLA JR Lobo and his wife Philomena Lobo. The flight will operate thrice weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Air India Express’s decision to wrap up their flight services to Kuwait – Mangalore sector has put more than 1.3 lakh passengers from Mangalore and Northern parts of Kerala into hardship. Members of many organizations were up in arms demanding to restore flight service on Kuwait.

Lobo said efforts by him and other from the region in putting pressure on Civil Aviation Ministry and also representation to GM Siddeshwara, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation had helped restoration of the Kuwait flight.

The battle for Kuwait flight had been started by various organisations including United Associations of Karnataka Kuwait (UAKK) and Konkan Overseas Returnees Welfare Association (KORWA) seeking the intervention of the Aviation Ministry for the restoration of direct flights to Kuwait. The organisations said the passenger flying time has now been extended from four to 12 hours due to the wrapping up of Kuwait – Mangalore sector direct flight operations from February 13 this year. Moreover the plight of the aged and families with small kids had become miserable as they had to transit through Mumbai or Bangalore.

They had also submitted a memorandum was submitted to Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel too.

Air India Manager Nagesh Shetty said of the 162 passengers on board, 97 were for Bahrain and 65 to Kuwait. The flight will reach Kuwait at 11.10am and the same flight will return at 12.10pm to reach Mangalore the next day at 7.25pm.

Courtesy: Times of India