The upcoming tourism season which is beginning from October onwards looks promising as the Airport Director S V T Dhanamjaya Rao gives out information to the reporters about the Dabolim International Airport receiving the requests for charter flight slots from eight destinations.
The news of Dabolim Airport may be closed down after the resumption of the new Mopa airport is a rumour and Mr Rao told the reporters that the Dabolim Airport will continue to operate even after the commissioning of the Mopa International Airport.
He said that there will be no segregation of domestic flights landing at Dabolim and International flights at Mopa. “it will depend on the choices of the passengers and flight operators,” he emphasized.
AAI has received requests for charter flights to Goa from Tel Aviv, Kuala Lumpur, Bahrain, Russia, Gatwick, Almaty, Manchester, and Muscat.
These will be in addition to the scheduled commercial flights that come in from London, Doha, Dubai, Muscat, and Sharjah.
The process issue landing slots for the charters are in the process he said. TUI Airways, an international charter flight operator, is offering flights from Gatwick, the UK to Goa from November onwards at 700 pounds per person.
Tourism, which is a key pillar of the state’s economy, has taken a hit since the pandemic broke out in march 2020. Though charter flights did land in Goa in December 2021, Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine served as a dampener.
On average, Goa receives about nine lakh international tourists, including 2-2.5 lakh tourists on charter flights.
More than half the charter tourists in Goa come from the commonwealth of independent states (CIS) countries, and the rest are from the UK and a few European countries.