LONDON, UK- TUI Airlines UK (BY), an international tour operator, is planning to launch charter flights to Mopa (GOX) starting from November 2. This makes TUI the first international charter operator to announce flights to the new airport.
TUI will operate twice weekly flights from London’s Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester (MAN) to Mopa. As of now, TUI has not revealed any charter flights to Goa International Airport, Dabolim (GOI).
TUI Announces Mopa Goa Flights
A GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL) representative, which manages Manohar International Airport, expressed excitement about the new partnership with TUI.
It’s worth noting that Dabolim is expected to welcome its first charter flights on October 1. Air India (AI) is the sole airline offering scheduled flights between Mopa and the UK.
“It’s important to note that this is still a work in progress. Formally, we need to receive confirmation from TUI,” stated R V Sheshan, the Chief Executive Officer of GGIAL (GMR Goa International Airport Limited). “Our efforts are focused on attracting additional traffic to Goa, which would benefit both the airport and the region.”
TUI has also communicated with its customers in the UK who have booked holiday packages, informing them that their flights will now land at Mopa.
One resident, Kerry Ann, from Burnley, shared that they had received the same email, mentioning that they are scheduled to fly from Manchester to Mopa on November 13 and then proceed to Candolim, with the transfer estimated to take around 45 minutes.
TOI (Times of India) also reached out to TUI’s local tour operator, who confirmed that charter flights will indeed be landing at Mopa. When asked about the possibility of TUI operating flights to Dabolim, the representative responded, “Not at this moment, but you can never say for certain.”
Mopa, which officially commenced operations on January 5, is closer to the North Goa coastline and offers more space for overnight parking large-bodied aircraft.
TUI has stated that it is currently in the process of transitioning customers to the new flights while canceling the old ones. The new flights will maintain the same days of operation, albeit with some minor adjustments to the timing, according to a source.
During the previous season, Goa received only two charter flights per week, as TUI had to reduce its charter operations to the state due to e-visa complications. However, Mopa has now resolved these issues and is accepting e-visas.
Despite a successful last season, foreign charter arrivals still fall short of the annual influx of 8-9 lakh international tourists that Goa used to welcome before the COVID-19 pandemic.
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