Calicut International Airport, also known as Karipur Airport, in Kerala, India, will be partially closed from May 1 to October 31, 2015 for maintenance work.
While the partial closure will affect travellers’ plans, expatriates from Malabar region allege that the move is part of a conspiracy to close the airport. And Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) has appealed to Indian civil aviation authorities not to go ahead with the plans.
Malabar region is home to a large number of South Indian expatriates based in the UAE.
Dr Puthur Rahman, President, KMCC UAE Committee, said, the airport closure will affect pilgrims, especially during the Hajj and Umrah seasons. Passengers from Malabar region will have to pay more airfare on other airlines offering limited service to Karippur, he added.
Currently, there are 11 weekly flights between Dubai and Karipur.
Rahman said that the Indian Union Muslim League President, E Ahmed, has already discussed the problem with the concerned authorities.
The partial closure of Karipur Airport comes amid news that investors are allegedly agitated as all four airports in Kerala are being denied the ‘international hub’ status by the Indian Government.
KMCC officials, including Ibrahim Ilayettil; P K Anwar Naha, Dubai KMCC President; Secretary Abu Chirackal; STU State President, Ahmed Kutty Unnikkulam; General Secretary Advocate M Rahmathulla and others, have appealed to authorities to make alternate arrangements for passengers and not to undertake repair works during peak season. KMCC also plans to launch campaign against the proposed closure.