According to a media report, Goa International Airport (GOI) may soon have international charter flights from as many as eight different countries. As it has received a request for slots for the arrival of international charter flights including Russia, which will be approved by the end of September.
According to the report, several international airports are requesting approval from the airport, including Kuala Lumpur, Tel Aviv, Gatwick, Bahrain, Russia, Almaty, Manchester, and Muscat.
S.V.T. Dhanamjaya Rao, Director of Goa Airport, told IANS that eight countries had requested slots. “Some of them have been approved, while others are in the process,” he explained.
“They are giving proposals. Things are in process. Certain things are approved, certain things are in process,” Rao said.
“Some are approved, those coming now are being entertained, and our officials are approving. All the things will be finalised by September because it (arrival) starts only in the month of October,” Rao said.
According to Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte, the coastal state’s tourism is primarily dependent on the United Kingdom, Russia, and some parts of Europe. “The government is doing everything it can to get a good footfall with good spending,” he said.
“Today predominately we are dependent on two markets, UK and Russia, and some parts of Europe. Are we on the right track? Are we looking at the same tourist coming in? For this, we need to see how we go ahead,” Khaunte had said.
According to Khaunte, approximately 71,27,000 domestic tourists visited Goa in 2019, while 9,31,000 foreign tourists visited.
However, as the Covid pandemic hit the coastal state in 2020 and 2021, this number fell. “There were only 3 lakh domestic tourists and 32,000 foreign tourists,” Khaunte said.
(With Inputs From IANS)