An Air India Express Boeing 737-800 aircraft Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: The first flight from Kannur, the newest airport in the South Indian State of Kerala, to Abu Dhabi is almost fully booked since the booking was opened on Tuesday morning, an Air India official told Gulf News on Tuesday.

Air India Express, the budget airline of the state-owned carrier Air India, will operate the inaugural flight from the fourth international airport in Kerala on December 9, said Ranjan Datta, area manager of Air India in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.

“It was an overwhelming response and people were buying the tickets like hotcakes. As majority of people from Kerala are from that area [north], we are delighted to cater to them,” he said.

The Boeing-737/800 flight will depart from Kannur at 10am IST (8.30am UAE) and reach Abu Dhabi at 12.30pm local time. The same flight will return from Abu Dhabi at 1.30pm and land Kannur at 7pm IST on the inaugural day, Datta said.

However, the timing will be changed on the subsequent days. The airline will operate three flights a week –on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The flight will depart from Abu Dhabi at 12.30pm and arrive at Kannur at 6pm IST. From Kannur, the departure will be at 9am IST and arrival in Abu Dhabi at 11.30am local time, the manager said.

He said the airline would extend the operations from Kannur to other destinations in the UAE very soon.

“Initially we will operate to three international destinations – Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Doha,” Datta said.