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Friday, Aug 04, 2006

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Govt nod sought for direct flights from Mangalore to W. Asia

Our Bureau

Mangalore , Aug. 3

The Saudi Arabia-based West Coast NRI Forum has urged the Union Government to permit the operations of flights from the Mangalore airport to West Asian countries.

Addressing presspersons here, Mr Mohammed Faroque, President of the forum, has said that the Mangalore airport is fully equipped to operate international flights.

The region has a good number of passengers bound for West Asia. In such a situation, the Government should permit the operations of at least two aircraft on Mangalore-West Asia sector, he said.

Passenger woes

Operation of international flights from Mangalore airport could serve nearly two lakh passengers a year. Currently, these passengers have to travel via Mumbai or other airports.

"It is an untold misery for the large NRI community, especially for women and children, to reach their home town via Mumbai or other airports.

They have to travel a minimum of 18 hours to 48 hours depending on the means of transportation.

Many entrepreneurs from Mangalore, Udupi and Bhatkal regions of coastal Karnataka have invested in various ventures in West Asia, and a direct flight service would help improve the foreign exchange earnings of the country, he said.

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