Etihad Airways, Kerala tourism to develop tour packages

August 19th, 2008 - 11:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kozhikode, Aug 19 (IANS) Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which started its daily service from Abu Dhabi to Kozhikode Aug 2, said it is holding talks with Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) to develop tour packages.”Our tourism division, Etihad Holidays, is working out the tour packages with KTDC,” said Neeraja Bhatia, the airways country manager (India and Sri Lanka) while addressing a press conference here Tuesday. Kozhikode is Etihad’s third destination in Kerala.

“We have started our services to three destinations in Kerala in the last 14 months. This shows the importance we attach to this region,” she said.

Neeraja said her company is happy with its service to Kozhikode. “The flights are operating with a load factor of 80-90 percent,” she said.

Kerala tourism director M. Sivasankar said that the services by the airways to the three airports would help the development of tourism in the state, especially in the northern region, known as Malabar.

“Many foreign tourists who come to Thiruvananthapuram travel north and catch their return flight from Kochi. Flight connectivity in Kozhikode will change this trend and tourists will be encouraged to travel further north to Malabar as they can catch their return flight from Kozhikode,” he said.

Sivasankar said that Etihad’s services to European destinations would also help to increase the tourist arrivals from there.

He said Kerala tourism department’s road show in Europe this year will cover six of the nine destinations to which Etihad is operating its services.

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