By: Krishnan Nayar NEW DELHI, Authorities in India are taking steps to ease difficulties faced by travelers from the Gulf to Kerala as a result of floods caused by heavy rains.
Two dozen people are reported to have been killed across Kerala from the floods and nine districts in the state are under “red alert” to prevent further loss of lives and ensure essential services.
Outside India, the most visible effects of the monsoon flooding in Kerala has been on the state’s connectivity with the Gulf. Cochin International Airport, the main gateway from Gulf countries to Kerala has been shut until Sunday afternoon.
Almost the entire air traffic by non-Indian carriers to Cochin airport are from the Gulf.
The Civil Aviation Ministry in New Delhi today directed incoming aircraft bound for Cochin to fly to two other Kerala airports: Trivandrum and Calicut.
The flights designated to take off from Cochin airport will also lift passengers from Trivandrum and Calicut instead.
Cochin International Airport Limited announced that Oman Air flights in the next three days will operate from Trivandrum instead of Cochin. Kuwait Airways flights on two days have been cancelled as did Gulf Air.
Cochin Airport said Fly Dubai and Air India flights have been shifted to Trivandrum.
Passengers travelling by some Emirates flights have been rebooked from Trivandrum. Air Asia flights for two days have been cancelled.
Most airlines have waived charges for changing travel dates or for cancelling journeys.
Source: Emirates News Agency