Keralites in UAE to join protest march in Delhi

Dubai: Expats from Kerala will join their countrymen in India in a protest march demanding the restoration of the operation of wide-body aircraft at the Calicut International Airport.

Many Keralites living in the UAE will be flying down to Indian capital New Delhi for the march scheduled to be held on December 5, a group of expatriates said at a press conference in Dubai on Sunday.

As many as 60 Malayalis here have already confirmed their participation and they will be flying together in a flight from Sharjah to Delhi on December 3, the team supporting the march organised by Kerala-based Malabar Development Forum (MDF) said. Members of the team that includes prominent personalities from different walks of life said they are expecting the number to double soon and invited other members of the community to join them. The operation of wide-body aircraft was suspended when its runways were partially closed for asphalting work from May 1, 2015.

The stoppage of large aircraft and changes in timings of the others had hit the travel plans of tens of thousands of expatriates and caused inconveniences to their families especially during vacation and festive seasons, said advocate Mohammad Sajid.

Dr. Azad Moopen, chairman of DM Healthcare, said expatriates from the Malabar region form the largest group of passengers flying out of the airport.

He said the Airport Authority of India has not given permission for operating wide-body aircraft even after the completion of the asphalting citing that the runway in the airport is not large enough for their operation despite airlines with twin-aisle aircraft expressing their willingness to operate in the sector.



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