Dubai, Aug 10: Plans to fly home for Eid holidays have gone haywire for Indian expats from Kerala after their flights were disrupted due to the closure of Cochin International Airport till Sunday due to heavy rains and flooding.
Airlines operating between UAE airports and Kochi have either cancelled or are diverting flights.
At least two airlines, UAE’s Etihad Airways and India’s Air India, have waived charges for changes in flight bookings.
“In view of runway closure in #Kochi, all applicable charges for re-validation/ re-issue/ cancellation and refund are waived from 09th-11th August, 2019 for Domestic and International travel to/ from Kochi,” Air India tweeted.
An official confirmed to Gulf News that this will be applicable to all flights belonging to Air India (AI) and Air India Express (AIE) operating on the UAE-Kochi route.
“Air India Dubai-Kochi flight has been cancelled till Sunday. We are trying to operate the AIE flight on August 9 and 10 from either Thiruvananthapuram or Calicut (Kozhikode) airports. As of now, our plane is to operate Abu Dhabi and Dubai flights via Thiruvananthapuram and Sharjah flight via Calicut. All these are subject to the operations at both the airports.”
He said there are concerns about operations in Kozhikode International Airport also getting affected due to incessant rains. “We heard Calicut airport is also in bad shape. Flights are not able to land. One of our flights was held up and now getting diverted to Thiruvananthapuram,” he added.
Meanwhile, reports from Kerala said the Indian navy will open its runway at INS Garuda Naval Airport for commercial flights in view of the non-availability of Cochin International airport because of flooding, however no UAE carriers have announced diversions to this airport yet.
Following are the statements and advisories from the UAE airlines.
Etihad Airways has suspended flights to Cochin, India, until Sunday, 11 August, due to severe flooding at the city’s airport.
To help move guests disrupted by the airport closure, the airline will use a larger aircraft to operate flights EY272 and EY273 between Abu Dhabi and Trivandrum, the nearest alternative airport served by Etihad Airways.
Additional flights will also be operated to and from Trivandrum during the Cochin airport closure period to help move as many guests as possible.
For affected guests wanting to take this option, standard fees for flight changes will be waived, but travel between Cochin and Trivandrum will be the responsibility of the guest.
Etihad Airways is continuing to monitor conditions in Cochin and will provide continuous updates.
We regret the inconvenience caused by this disruption. For more information, or to make any changes to their reservation, guests are advised to call the Etihad Global Contact Centre on +971 600 555 666 (UAE) or visit Etihad.com or the mobile app.
Due to the weather conditions at Cochin Airport all flight operations to and from Kochi (COK) will now operate via Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) on 9 August. Flight schedules are as follows (all times are local):
EK532 will depart DXB at 1100hrs and arrive at TRV at 1630hrs
EK530 will depart DXB at 0845hrs and arrive at TRV at 1415hrs
EK533 will depart TRV at 1750hrs and arrive at DXB at 2010hrs
EK531 will depart TRV at 1515hrs and arrive at DXB at 1740hrs
Customers are advised to check www.emirates.com/flightstatus for the latest flight updates as departure times may change depending on the weather conditions. To receive update notifications by email, customers are requested to ensure their contact details are correct by visiting Manage Your Booking.
Affected passengers booked to travel to/from Cochin can opt to change their flights and postpone their departure up to 15th August 2019 and are requested to contact their travel agent or booking offices to make changes to their bookings.
Due to the temporary closure of Cochin airport, Fly Dubaii flights to Cochin (COK) between 09 and 11 August will operate to Thiruvananthapuram (TRV) instead.
Passengers booked to travel on these dates who wish to cancel or rebook for a different date are advised to contact their booking agent or contact the flydubai Contact Centre on (+971) 600 54 44 45 accordingly.We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers’ travel plans.
Cochin/Kochi international airport is closed due to floods and flights to and from Cochin are temporarily suspended until the airport reopens. Affected customers can call UAE call centres on +97165580000 or India call centre at +9102271004777 for modifications and alternative flights.