Riyadh: Here is good news for air passengers. Saudi Airlines has come out with a 50 per cent discount offer for international passengers. The discount will be available on tickets purchased till August 30, 2023.
The discount is given to tickets that are used between September and November to travel both in business class and economy class. Saudi Arabia's national carrier has announced this amazing offer on ticket prices as part of its efforts to increase the flow of tourists to the kingdom.
Fujairah Airport beckons airlines for services
In yet another international development offering hope for Kerala expats worried about flight charges, Fujairah International Airport is now welcoming airlines to start flights to and from Indian cities.
Ismail Al Balushi, General Manager of Fujairah International Airport, told Manorama recently that the airport is ready to join hands with Kerala in its effort to make available low-cost flight services to Kerala expatriates living in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm al-Quwain Emirates.
In addition to the regular service, the airport will also be available for conducting chartered services. The new offer is one of the alternative ways to address the acute travel woes of Indian expatriates.
The invite to the companies to start flights has been made after ensuring the transport facility to reach any emirate in the UAE from Fujairah airport.
At present, only Oman-owned Salam Air is taking advantage of the opportunity to operate low-cost flights to Kerala via Fujairah Airport. Upon booking tickets two weeks in advance, one can fly to Thiruvananthapuram for 450 dirhams (approximately Rs 10,000). Salam Air also operates flights to Indian cities like Lucknow and Jaipur.
The flight leaves for Thiruvananthapuram after an hour's layover in Muscat. The total travel time is six hours. If booked in advance, you can return to the UAE at the same rate. Flights via Muscat have 100 per cent patronage from Fujairah itself.
Given the situation, if direct flights to Kerala are operated from Fujairah, they can easily get enough and more passengers, the official said.
Fujairah airport authorities have already completed discussions with Air India Express, IndiGo, Akasha, and SpiceJet. Air India officials visited the airport as well.
Purushothaman Vaidyanathan, Operations Manager at Fujairah airport, said all the companies have expressed interest in starting the service. The promise made to the companies is that the costs at the airport will be reduced as much as possible. Flights from India reach Sharjah, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi airports flying over Fujairah. Planes can reduce the distance by landing at Fujairah and save on fuel also.
The first six hours of parking in Fujairah are free for flights. An opportunity for fixing a fee acceptable to the airlines for parking beyond six hours is also available. Eight planes can be parked in standard parking. 18 non-standard parking slots are also available. A total of 1250 passengers can be handled simultaneously at the passenger gates. Those who land on the plane need a maximum of seven minutes to get out with the baggage, Purushothaman said.
Passengers who are scheduled to depart will also be able to do city check-in at home or in the emirate where they live and hand over the luggage 24 hours in advance. No parking fee is charged for vehicles inside the airport, Business Division Officer Mohamed Shinaz said.
The Fujairah Airport, which started operations in 1988, was opened for passenger service last month after a long period of renovation work. The re-carpeting works on the runway have been completed. Two more new runways will come up at the airport. A new Air Traffic Control (ATC) will be opened in September instead of the existing one. Shinaz said the companies could save on the rent of aerobridges as passengers can board the aircraft directly from the passenger gate. "We will provide all possible assistance to airlines to minimize the costs incurred at airports," he said.
Those interested in conducting Kerala services can contact the numbers +971 9 205 5529, +971 50 211 3003, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and visit www.fujairah-airport.ae.
Fujairah also has the facility to operate cargo services. Available facilities:
- The storage capacity is 150 tonnes. It can also be increased if needed. The godown is spread over an area of 2016 square meters.
- PMC pallets with a capacity to carry a weight of 150 tonnes.
- 180-meter-long scanning machine exclusively for exporting goods. 24-hour customer service.
- Cold storage with a storage capacity of 200 metric tons.
- 1482 square meters of space to house live animals. Quarantine facilities. Truck docking area. Up to 2500 sheep can be kept here.
- Adnoc and Épic pump to refuel planes.
- Workshop for maintenance works.