The Air India Express, an Indian budget airline, is set to launch new flight services on Kerala-Doha sector after August 15.
The airline operates 14 flights per week between India and Doha and seven of these connect to various Kerala airports.
From August 15 Air India Express will start three direct flights a week from Kochi to Doha and they will add one more from September 15 making it 4 direct flights a week from Kochi, Kerala.
The new flights will be operated on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and will leave Kochi airport at 10:00 am and will arrive at Hamad International Airport, Doha at 11:45 am.
The flights will leave Hamad International airport at 12:45pm and will land at the Kochi airport at 19:40pm.
With these four new direct flights, there will be 11 Air India Express flights to Doha from different Kerala airports.
This is the first time the airline is operating direct flight services to Doha from Kochi. Currently Air India offers a Kochi-Kozhikode-Doha route.
Air India Express has already shored up their service to Qatar by offering additional flights from June 24 to address the increase in demand due to blockade by Saudi, UAE and Bahrian.
“We have rescheduled our operations to Qatar and are introducing new flights to Doha in the next two months,’’ CEO K Shyam Sundar told Economic times.
The siege countries had closed their skies to Qatar Airways flights and their national airlines also stopped flying to Qatar on June 5.
Many Indian expatriates use the connection flights through other Gulf States for their homeward journey during summer holidays. But after the siege, the options left to Indians expats are direct flights of Qatar Airways, Jet Airways, Air India Express and Indigo and connection flights of Oman Air and Kuwait Airways.