Kochi: Departure operations to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is all set to resume on Sunday, at Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) as the Saudi government eased International travel protocols for vaccinated travellers.
This is the first commercial departure operation to the Kingdom since the COVID-19 outbreak.
Saudi Arabia’s national carrier ‘Saudia’ has scheduled seven departure services till September 30.
The first among the seven will leave Cochin International Airport on Sunday, with 395 passengers on board. CIAL is about to handle 6,069 international passengers on Sunday alone. Out of this, 4131 are departing passengers, a release read.
As per the media reports, Cochin airport authorities have reported that it has been seeing a rise in the number of passengers in the recent days since the start of services to the UAE.
Saudi Arabia has planned three more flights for the week. On September 2, Indigo will begin operations to Saudi Arabia and the airline has planned 12 flights in the coming weeks, CIAL said.
CIAL managing director S Suhas said the company has already started talks with the international service providers to launch more services in the sector. “CIAL will schedule more departure operations to the Middle Eastern countries in the coming days.”
“We are happy that all major international and Indian airlines have confirmed their schedules for this Sector. As per the instruction of the chairman and the Board of Directors, CIAL has already made the arrangements to facilitate hassle-free passenger movement at Cochin International Airport,” said Suhas.
On March 15, 2020, Saudi Arabia suspended all international flights, excluding diplomats, Saudi nationals, medical staff, and their families, to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
On August 22, Saudi Arabian government has relaxed travel guidelines for Indians who have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the Kingdom, will be able to return to the Kingdom directly without the need for quarantine in a third country.