New Delhi: Low-cost airline Air India Express recently announced a direct flight service on the Doha-Thiruvananthapuram sector, providing relief to air travel woes experienced by expatriates in the southern Kerala districts for a long time. The service will start on October 29.
There will be services on four days a week from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram and back, and the ticket booking has already started. While the services from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram will be operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, those from Thiruvananthapuram to Doha will be on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The new non-stop service has been announced in the winter schedule of Air India Express.
The direct services of Air India Express will benefit people from Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, and Pathanamthitta districts, those from south-eastern parts of Alappuzha and Kottayam districts, besides those from Nagercoil, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi, and Tenkasi in Tamil Nadu, who have been struggling with travel issues for years.
Thomas Kurian Nedumthara, the general convener of the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Users' Forum in Qatar (Taufiq), recently said the new announcement of Air India Express comes as a big relief to the people of southern districts who were disappointed as no action had been taken for long despite submitting representations and complaints to the Central and State Governments in this regard.
The new announcement is a solution to the woes of passengers coming to the Thiruvananthapuram side.
At present, Air India Express operates from Doha to Thiruvananthapuram and vice versa via Kozhikode. Although Qatar Airways operates direct flights to Thiruvananthapuram from Doha, ordinary expatriates depend on connection flights as they cannot afford the ticket prices of the Qatar Airways flight.
People from the southern districts, who can reach home in four-and-a-half hours by direct flight from Doha, take hours to reach home when they depend on connection flights. The direct services of Air India Express will come as a relief to hundreds of expatriates, especially those working in sectors like fishing and construction who are earning low incomes. They have not been able to reach home on vacation even once in two years so far due to the high cost of travel in connecting flights. They will be much relieved by the new announcement of the Air India Express.