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TUI to fly UK charters twice a week to Mopa | Goa News


Panaji: International tour operator TUI Airlines UK is set to operate charter flights to Mopa (GOX) from November 2, becoming the first international charter operator to announce flights to the new airport. TUI will operate twice weekly from London’s Gatwick and Manchester into Mopa. It has not yet announced any charter flights to Goa International Airport, Dabolim (GOI). “Manohar International Airport is thrilled to announce its new partnership with TUI,” said a representative of GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL). Dabolim is expected to receive it’s first charter flights on October 1. Currently, Air India is the only airline that has scheduled flights between Mopa and the UK. “It is still work in progress. Formally, we have to confirm with TUI,” said chief executive officer of GGIAL R V Sheshan. “Our efforts are to bring additional traffic to Goa to benefit the airport and this region.” TUI has also sent emails to its customers in the UK who have booked holiday packages informing them that flights will now arrive at Mopa. “We’ve had the same email. We are flying in November 13 from Manchester into Mopa then onto Candolim. Think the transfer is now 45 mins,” said Kerry Ann, a resident of Burnley. TOI also contacted TUI’s local tour operator who confirmed that charter flights will fly into Mopa. When asked if TUI will operate any flights to Dabolim, the representative said, “Not as of now but you can never say.” Mopa, which opened on January 5, closer to the North Goa coastline and has more space for large-bodied aircraft to park overnight. TUI said it is in the process of moving customers to the new flights and cancelling the old GOI flights. The new flights will operate on the same days, with some “small timing changes”, a source said. Goa received just two charters a week last season, as TUI had to reduce the numbers of charters it operated to the state due to the e-visa issue. After initial hiccups, Mopa has now started accepting e-visas. While the last season was good, foreign charter arrivals were nowhere close to the annual footfalls of 8-9 lakh international tourists that Goa received before the Covid-19 pandemic.

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