Strike hits international air passengers in Kerala

August 20th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 20 (IANS) The nation-wide strike Wednesday called by Left trade unions is taking a heavy toll on both arriving and departing passengers at the three international airports in Kerala.Chief of Air India H.A.Munaf told IANS that even though their flight operations were on schedule, passengers were finding it difficult to cope with the situation.

“Many had arrived quite early to the airport and some are caught up at the airports because public transport is off the road causing a lot of hardships,” said Munaf.

Kerala has three international airports at Kozhikode, Kochi and here which on an average operate around 70 flights every day.

With the holiday season on in the Middle-East, the traffic is at its peak. From the three airports in Kerala, a minimum of 15,000 passengers on average have been heading for airports in the Middle-East everyday.

“It is really sad to see what is happening in Kerala. We came with our new born baby last month and we are leaving by the early morning flight tomorrow cancelling our plans to visit close relatives,” said Mariam Thomas, an engineer who works in Dubai.

“This is really painful because we had to put up with another such shutdown just last month,” he said.

About two million people from Kerala are settled outside India. Of this, more than 90 percent are in the Middle-East.

Private vehicles with an “Airport” sticker pasted on the front and rear glass panels were a common sight at all the three airports.

“I have to go and collect my husband from the airport in the afternoon. I am really scared to go alone and none of the taxis are willing to operate their service,” said a housewife in the state capital.

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