Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mangalore: Official inauguration of Int'l Airport, cargo complex on Mar 18

Mangalore, Mar 14: As per reliable sources from New Delhi, the official inauguration of Mangalore International Airport and the cargo complex at the Airport will be held on Tuesday March 18.
Though the Mangalore Airport was declared as International Airport in October 2012, the airport was waiting to be officially inaugurated by the civil aviation minister. Now, Ajith Singh has reportedly confirmed his visit Mangalore on March 18. State chief minister Jagadish Shettar and union petroleum minister Veerappa Moily have also confirmed their attendance.

The opening of the cargo complex is expected to create a new era in air cargo sector, as this facility is expected to boost export from the region.

Incidentally March will be another milestone for Mangalore International Airport, as the first-ever flight from Saudi Arabia will land in Mangalore on March 31. Air India Express has already opened the booking for this Mangalore - Dammam (Daharan Airport) sector.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Mangalore: First Jet Airways Direct Flight to Dubai Takes Off

Mangalore - Dubai Jet Airways Flight Gets 'Water Cannon Salute' on Arrival

Daijiworld Media Network - Dubai

Dubai, Jan 4: The inaugural Jet Airways direct flight from Mangalore to Dubai landed at 10.05 pm (UAE time), to a water cannon salute at Dubai airport here on Thursday January 3.

The first guest to check-in, Abdul Muneer, cut the ribbon to inaugurate the check-in counters. He was also presented with a certificate.

Thereafter, a cake was cut to mark the launch of Dubai-Mangalore Jet Airways operations.

The return flight to Mangalore took off at 11.30 pm (UAE time).

Saleem Golandaz, manager, customer services, dnata Airport Operations, and the Jet Airways Airport and sales teams including Bram Steller (EVP, international sales), Shakir Kantawala (GM, Gulf, ME and N Africa), Rohan Alva (cargo manager, Gulf), and Sanjay Lobato (duty manager) were present.

Earlier Update (January 3)

Mangalore: First Jet Airways Direct Flight to Dubai Takes Off

Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore (NM)

Mangalore, Jan 3: Another dream came true for Mangaloreans when flight 9W532 of Jet Airways, the first private airlines to introduce direct flight from the city, took off at 8 pm on Thursday January 3 to Dubai.

The joy was double as the first flight had Mangalorean Capt Santhosh Prabhu as its chief pilot.

Rajesh Sequeira, coordinator of Karnataka NRI Forum (KNRIF), which played an instrumental role in getting the private airline to fly on Mangalore-Dubai route, had the privilege of being given the first boarding pass.

The occasion was blessed by religious heads of all three major communities - parish priest of Valencia church Fr Bonaventure, Ayub Musliyar and Prashant Bhat.

The flight, as expected was full to capacity.

The flag off at the Mangalore International Terminal was marked by the presence of member of Parliament Jayaprakash Hegde.

Addressing the gathering, he said, "Protector of Emigrants office in Karnataka and direct flight from Mangalore to Dubai were the two long-standing demands from Daijiworld, KNRI Forum and others. One of them has been realised today and the other one is being finalized with the ministry of finance."

He also spoke on the proposed cargo terminal and said that he was confident of getting clearance from government of India. "Competitive prices should be there so that there is no monopoly," he added.

Stressing on the need for direct flight to Saudi Arabia from Mangalore, he requested Jet Airways to start operations on this route at least once or twice a week.

Airport director Radhakrishnan thanked Jet Airways and also invited other carriers to start operations from Mangalore Airport. He further said that currently 35 flights are operating at the Mangalore Airport, which has seen tremendous achievement in all aspects over the past year.

Vasudeva Rao, former airport director and co-ordinator of Karnatka NRI Forum said, “There needs to be competition to ensure quality. Direct flight to Saudi Arabia is the need of the hour. Already a memorandum has been submitted in this regard to the authority concerned."

Gaurang Shetty, senior vice-president (commercial) Jet Airways welcomed the gathering.

Ajay Kumar, chairman of Corporation Bank also spoke on the occasion. Harish Shenoy, regional general manager of Jet Airway’s proposed a vote of thanks.

Press Meet

Prior to the launching ceremony, press meet was held in the premises of Mangalore International Airport. Addressing the reporters, Gaurang Shetty Senior Vice President, Commercial Jet Airways said, “Jet Airways is delighted to provide direct links from the chief port city of Karnataka to Dubai, which is considered to be amongst the best global business and tourism destinations in the world. We are happy to offer seamless connections to several destinations to our guests from Dubai across our global network through our existing Gulf operations. Additionally, this flight will further help strengthen our air connectivity from Tier II Indian destinations into the Gulf, catering to the large number of Indian expatriates settled in the United Arab Emirates, with convenient connections.”

Guests can enjoy an inaugural Economy Class return fare of Rs 20,360 onwards being offered on the Mangalore – Dubai - Mangalore route, on sale since 15th December, 2012, with travel valid until March 31, 2013. Similarly, the One-way fare ex-India is INR 10,101.

The new flight 9W 532 from the port city of Mangalore will depart at 2000 hrs and arrive Dubai at 2230 hrs (LT) on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.

On the return leg, flight 9W 531 will depart Dubai at 2330 hrs (LT) on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and arrive Mangalore at 0430 hrs (LT) next day.

On Fridays, flight 9W 532 will depart Mangalore at 1900 hrs and arrive Dubai at 2130 hrs (local time). On the return, flight 9W 531 will depart Dubai at 2230 hrs (LT) and arrive Mangalore at 0330 hrs (LT) the next day. On Tuesdays, flight 9w 532 will depart Mangalore at 1940 hrs and arrive Dubai at 2210 hrs (LT).

Jet Airways currently operates daily direct flights to Dubai from Delhi, and four services a day from Mumbai.

Exclusive JetEscapes holiday packages:

Jet Airways’ has also introduced exciting JetEscapes holidays for guests travelling to Dubai for the famed Dubai Shopping Festival, for travel effective January 3rd to February 3rd, 2013. Guests to Dubai, a veritable shopper’s paradise and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, may choose between two attractive holiday packages, both spread over three nights and four days.

The all-inclusive ‘Bonanza’ package starts from INR 30,800/-, and the ‘Extravaganza’ holiday package starts from INR 34,850/- respectively.

While both packages include return air travel in Economy (inclusive of all taxes), Airport transfers, 3-Star Hotel accommodation with breakfast, City Tour, Travel Insurance and earns 5 JPMiles for every INR 100 spent on JetEscapes, the ‘Extravaganza’ package also includes, in addition, a Dhow Cruise with dinner and Desert Safari with Barbeque dinner for guests.

The additional services from Mangalore will now complement the airline’s existing Gulf operations to Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, Muscat and Sharjah, as well as Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam from several cities in India.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Mangalore: KNRI Forum's Next Goal - Direct Flight to Saudi

Mangalore: KNRI Forum's Next Goal - Direct Flight to Saudi

Pics: Dayanand Kukkaje
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (VM)

Mangalore, Jan 2: The Karnataka NRI Forum (KNRIF), which focuses on matters pertaining to having direct flight to Mangalore from Gulf, is working on connecting other destinations, especially Saudi Arabia to Mangalore, said Rajesh Sequeira, coordinator Karnataka NRI Forum, UAE.

Addressing a press meet here on Wednesday January 2, he said that the forum in conjunction with West Coast NRI forum from Dammam and Karavali Welfare Association, Riyadh has already started working towards this goal.

"With former airport director M R Vasudeva presently representing Karnataka NRI Forum, Mangalore along with Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), the struggle will go on till we achieve our goals of having direct flights from other Gulf and Middle East countries by various airlines," he added.

Rajesh further said that the Forum since its inception on September 3, 2004 has taken up various issues jointly with KCCI, the local government authorities, politicians, state and central government and others. "The achievements of the forum are mainly due to team work and support from various persons," he added, expressing special gratitude to Jayaprakash Hegde, MP, Udupi-Chikmagalur, Dolphy D’Souza, advisory member, labour welfare fund, union ministry of labour and employment and others.

He also spoke about the recent achievement, that is, Jet Airways direct flight to Dubai from Mangalore which is set to start operations on January 3. "The direct flight will have various benefits like enhanced connectivity, reasonable and affordable rates by having healthy competition, tourist influx to city and many others," he said.

M R Vasudev, former Managlore Airport director and coordinator of KNRIF, Mangalore in his address expressed his gratitude to for its support and for being a major contributor to the Forum’s success. "It is they ( who placed NRIs needs before the public and created awareness on various issues," he added.

Commenting on the prospects of launching Saudi Arabia-Mangalore direct flight, he said already 25,000 people from Saudi have provided their passport numbers stating that they need direct flight.

He also said that there are chance of more number of international airlines flying to Gulf countries from Mangalore.

Walter Nandalike, chief editor of; Dolphy D’Souza, Narayan Bhat, member of West Coast NRI Forum, Dubai among others were present

Friday, December 07, 2012

Jet Airways to Commence Mangalore - Dubai Operations from Jan 3, 2013

Mangalore, Dec 7: As announced earlier in these columns, Jet Airways is all set to launch its Mangalore-Dubai-Mangalore operations, thus becoming the first private airlines to do so.
Jet Airways will commence its daily flights on this route from January 3, 2013.

Online bookings have begun, and more than 300 people have already booked their flights, sources said.

Flight 9W532 will depart from Mangalore at 20:00 hours (local time) and arrive in Dubai at 22.30 hours (local time).

The return flight 9W531 will take off from Dubai at 23.30 hours (local time) and arrive in Mangalore at 4.30 am the next morning.

The inaugural fair is Rs 17, 122 , Rs 42,953 (Business class), one way.

For booking login :

Until now, only Air India Express was operating on Mangalore - Dubai direct route.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Mangalore : Cargo Complex Infrastructure is Ready - Airport Director

Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

Mangalore, Dec 5: It has been a month since J T Radhakrishna has taken over as the Director of Mangalore International Airport following the retirement of M R Vasudeva in October this year. Vasudeva, who was the Airport Director of the Mangalore Airport for nearly 10 years, was the face of the Mangalore Airport and whoever steps into his shoes will be naturally compared to him. Comparisons are no doubt odious but Radhakrishna seem to have no problem with the high expectations people have because he does not consider it as a burden.

A man of few words, Radhakrishna prefers his work to speak for himself and has already chalked out a clear plan keeping in mind the all-round progress of the airport and the safety of the passengers.

In an exclusive interview with he delineates the various developmental plans under progress at Mangalore International Airport.

Q. Is it difficult to get into the seat adorned by M R Vasudeva?

A. Vasudeva was the Airport Director of Mangalore International Airport for almost ten years and knew the ins and outs of the airport. It was during his tenure the second runway and the new terminal was built and became operational. It is just month since I have taken over as the Director and I know this place having supervised the construction of the new runway and also the construction of the new terminal building. I know the expectations are high and I will do my best for the overall improvement of the airport.

Q. What is going to be your priority in your capacity as the Airport Director?

A. Development of the airport and safety and comforts of the passengers is always the priority while undertaking any developmental work.

Q. With Jet Airways getting government approval recently to fly international from Mangalore to Dubai will there be more private airlines flying from Mangalore soon?

A. The government has just approved the proposal of Jet Airways to fly Mangalore-Dubai to start with. It is not confirmed but Jet has planned the schedule and the launching is scheduled for December 20, 2012. There has been lot of inquiries from private airlines both private and foreign and all the formalities will have to be completed at our head office. But all these airlines will conduct their own surveys before venturing into this and it will take its own time for to actually begin their service.  

Q. Does Mangalore airport have necessary infrastructure to handle private and foreign international airlines?

A. Extension of the runway to 1100 meters is the need of the hour so that the airport can handle wide bodied aircrafts. At present Mangalore airport can handle smaller aircrafts such as Airbus A320. If the runway is extended the airport is capable of accepting larger aircrafts such as Airbus A-330 and Boeing 777. Larger aircrafts means passengers will be able to carry more luggages, more cargo, more goods capacity etc. It is a big project and we require at least 280 acres of land for completing this. We have requested the state government to provide the land for us and we are hopeful we will be able to get the required land.

Q. What are the safety aspects undertaken at the Mangalore International Airport?

A. With a view to enhance the safety and security of Mangalore airport and also to bring different air control units under one roof we are constructing a new Control Tower building which is now under construction. At present we don’t have full-pledged view of the area around the airport. Mangalore being the area control centre has lot of equipments with a radar capacity for tracing aircrafts up to 250 nautical miles. We will accommodate all these equipments in the new control tower. This project is expected to be completed by December 2013.

Q. Is there any area of concern that calls for immediate attention at the airport?

A. There is no cause for concern on any aspect as of now. All the stakeholders must co-operate with us to realize our goals of providing top priority for safety and security aspects. Considering that there will have more flights in the near future with private airlines gearing up for international flights there is a need to enhance security at the airport. Earlier the airport used to be closed during nights but now that more flights will be coming during night time we will have a 24X7 security system at the airport.

Q. What about the exit road which is in a deplorable condition?

A. The work on the exit road has been undertaken by Karnataka State Road Development Corporation recently and work will begin here in a month’s time. We are also acquiring the Deccan Park area and the building will be demolished subsequently so that there are no operational or technical hitches concerning the safety aspects. This exit road will be much better than the approach road with lesser curves and will be much smoother.

Q. What confidence building measures have been undertaken to reduce skirmishes among customs officials and passengers at the airport?

A. It is our intention to avoid any instances that might bring a bad repute to the airport. Every month we sit with top customs officials and work out. If any issues come up during such meetings we take them up and bring it to the notice of the Commissioner of Customs. But we cannot comment on their work because it does not come under us. At the same time I feel that passengers also should be aware of certain rules and regulations and avoid committing violations with regard to carrying valuables.

Q. These violations happen because the limit is only Rs. 25,000/-, which is in vogue for the last 10 years…

A. The Customs officials have taken the matter to the officials concerned at the Finance Ministry. Other organizations should also approach the concerned departments so that this limit is enhanced.

Q. What is the headway made with regard to the International Cargo Complex to come up at the old terminal building?

A. We have made the entire infrastructure required for a cargo complex and proposals have gone to the Central Government Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). We are now waiting for the clearance call and based on that clearance, custodianship will be given to Airport Authority of India Ltd for the Cargo Complex.

Q. In what way Cargo Complex will be beneficial?

A. Having an international Cargo complex will give fillip to import and export from South Kanara. This will be a great opportunity for the businessmen and manufacturers to import or export their products. We are expecting to get the clearance within a month or two from CBEC. Once the clearance is obtained it will take only a month for the cargo complex to become operational.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Jet Airways Gets Approval for Dubai - Mangalore Direct Flight

Mangalore, Nov 30: Jet Airways, India's premier carrier will be the first private airline to fly international from Mangalore airport. Highly placed sources in the civil aviation department in New Delhi have told daijiworld that the government has approved Jet Airways' proposal of direct flight between Mangalore and Dubai.
The official announcement from Jet Airways will follow soon, while dates and flight schedule will be confirmed by the authorities in Dubai and Mangalore, sources told daijiworld.

Rajesh Sequeira, main co-ordinator of Karnataka NRI Forum, UAE who played a key role in launching the first international flight between Mangalore and Dubai as well as other Gulf countries, has once again played an instrumental role in liaising with Udupi-Chikmagalur MP J P Hegde, civil aviation secretary Srivastava, and the Jet Airways. Speaking to daijiworld, Rajesh said, "It is a great news for the people of coastal region. Once Jet Airways starts, people will have more choice when flying between Mangalore and Dubai."

Currently only Air India Express has the permission to fly internationally from Mangalore International Airport.

According to sources, Jet Airways is expected to start operating in the month of December itself, if remaining formalities and timings are finalized.

J P Hegde, member of parliament from Udupi - Chikmaglur told daijiworld that introduction of international flight to Saudi Arabia is also on the cards, as he along with Rajesh Sequeira are in touch with Jet Airways.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Airlines on Mangalore-Gulf Route Soon, Fares Likely to Reduce

New Airlines on Mangalore-Gulf Route Soon, Fares Likely to Reduce

Pics: Brijesh Garodi
Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (PS)

Mangalore, Oct 11: Mangalore International Airport director M R Vasudeva on Thursday October 11 hinted that with some of the airline companies coming forward to operate between Gulf countries and Mangalore, the fares are likely to be slashed in the coming days.

"Three to four airline companies will operate five or six aircraft to Gulf countries by March 2013," he said, addressing reporters at ‘Meet the Press’, an interactive session held here on Thursday October 11.

He said that airline companies like Etihad and Air Arabia have shown interest in operating flights between Mangalore and Sharjah / Abu Dhabi. "In addition to revision in ticket fares, people would benefit by way of convenient timings if more flights are operated. Discusssion in regard is on at the ministry level," he revealed.

However, he pointed out that that flights from Mangalore to countries like America and the European continent is not a possibility right now, as passenger potentiality is the deciding factor to commence direct aircrafts to these countries. "If passengers to aforesaid countries are not in sufficient numbers, what is the viability in operating direct flights?" he questioned.

He also said that Jet Airways will start operating between Mangalore and Mumbai by October 28.

Recalling his initial days in Mangalore Airport way back in 2002, Vasudeva said that 206 families who sacrificed their land for the second runway had to be rehabilitated in a school building, however, afterwards they were given a good colony. He said that 10 years ago Bajpe airport as well as the area had hardly seen any developement, but today the airport is of world class standards with facilities that are lacking in other airports.

He expressed his satisfaction and the work he has put in over the years, and said that he could retire happily now that the airport has earned international tag. Vasudeva would be retiring from his post at the end of this month.

Asserting that more work is yet to take place in Mangalore International Airport, he said, "If air cargo complex is built soon, the region will see more development. A wrong notion with regard to safety of table top airport had to be removed to earn the international tag for Mangalore Airport. Decisive factors like sloping runway and distance-to-go markers were fulfilled within four and two months' time respectively," he said.

He stated that Mangalore International Airport enjoys exceptional radar and navigation equipment when compared to Kochi and Coimbatore airports.

"Passengers at Mangalore Airport have increased considerably over the years. There were 9,30,000 passengers this year, which is 4 times higher than in 2002."

To a query, Vasudeva said that runway extension with pillars costs the same as filling the valley with soil. "Jumbo aircraft can operate if the runway is extended after acquiring 250 acres of land," he said.

Press Club president Ramakrishna honoured Vasudeva on the occasion.