'Operate M'lore-Kuwait flights or give nod to pvt airlines'

Gulf NRI Forum, Kuwait, has urged the Deputy General of Civil Aviation, Government of India, to restart Mangalore- Kuwait flight which has been stopped recently by Air India Express or to grant permission to private international airline operators to operate flights between Mangalore and Kuwait.

Addressing mediapersons in Mangalore on Wednesday, Gulf NRI Forum (Kuwait) President P B Pinto said that the flight service has been stopped with effect from February 13, which has caused a great inconvenience to Non-Resident Indians in Gulf countries. He alleged that the Air India Express is showing step mother’s attitude towards Mangaloreans by discontinuing Mangalore -Kuwait flights and retaining the service in Kerala. 

Alleging that Air India Express has completely neglected  the non-resident Indians, Pinto said that the NRIs from Mangalore, travelling from Kuwait, are now compelled to land in Mumbai and again catch a domestic flight to come to Mangalore, which will be time consuming and troublesome. This will be a great inconvenience to mothers travelling with infants, he said.

Complaining that the services of Air India Express are not up to the mark, Pinto said that the passengers are allowed to carry only 15 kg luggage, which is another reason for the drop in the number of passengers in Air India. Our elected representatives are not responding to the problem, even though requests have been made many times, he said. The Air India Officials cite the reason of loss for the stoppage of Mangalore- Kuwait flight. But, there is no loss from the side of Mangalore as there are many number of passengers travelling from Kuwait. In Kuwait alone, there are around 1,50,000  people belonging to this region, he added.

Banned medicines

He meanwhile warned the passengers travelling to Kuwait from Mangalore to be cautious while carrying parcels. There have been several instances where passengers are made scapegoats by asking them to carry packed items, which include drugs, narcotics and chemicals banned in Gulf countries. 

Passengers to Kuwait have to ensure that they do not carry such substances. Strict penalties include imprisonment followed by deportation. If the medicines contain any banned or restricted substance, it is advisable not to carry them on your flight/travel to Kuwait. In case of carrying emergency medicines, one should also carry a medical prescription from a licensed doctor, detailed medical report, both attested. One is not allowed to carry more than three month's supply of medicine, he said.

Fake Visa agents

Also it is necessary for the passengers to be careful about the unauthorised Visa agents, who dupe the passengers offering them visa to gulf countries, on receiving high amounts, Pinto added. Konkan Overseas Returnees Welfare Association President Louis Lobo, MUDA former chairman and Congress leader Tejomaya and Ex-NRI John Tauro were also present.

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