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PRESS NOTE
Sub :- Introduction of direct flights from Goa to various gulf countries

The question of bringing back the mortal remains of the emigrants, who have died abroad, The Goan Community of Oman had been pursuing with the NRI Commission the long standing demand of Goans gainfully employed in Muscat and other cities in the Sultanate of Oman for a direct flight from Goa to Muscat and back so as to avoid hassles of transfer from Domestic to International terminal and completing immigration and customs formalities at Mumbai Airport before taking connecting flight to Muscat.

Acting on the above request, Dr. Wilfred Menezes Mesquita, Commissioner for NRI Affairs had taken up the matter with the Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju for commencement of direct flight from Goa to Muscat and back.

It is a matter of satisfaction that acceding to the above request, Air India has announced daily direct flight from Goa to Muscat via Mumbai w.e.f. Sunday November 16, 2014 as per the following schedule:

AI-983 Departure Goa at 17.55 Hrs arriving Mumbai at 19.00 Hrs
AI-985 Departure Mumbai at 22.05 Hrs arriving Muscat at 23.10 Hrs.

The introduction of this flight will enable passengers to complete their immigration and customs formalities and check baggage through to Muscat at Dabolim Airport, Goa itself. Flight number AI-983 will land at T-2 International Airport in Mumbai and passengers will be accommodated in the Transit Lounge till departure of their flight to Muscat.

This would also connect to other international destinations like Hongkong, Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Singapore and New York on this through flight.

As regards Muscat to Goa, Air India has promised to re-schedule the flight in such a way that a time gap of atleast one and half hour would be available after landing at Mumbai in order to connect the flight to Goa. This time gap is required for transfer of passengers and the baggage through flight to Goa. Presently, this flight arrives from Muscat at 04.10 Hrs at Mumbai and the connecting flight departs for Goa at 05.30 Hrs which does not give sufficient time for transfer of passengers and the baggage.

The NRI Commission had received similar request from Goan Associations in Kuwait and other gulf countries for introduction of additional flights in view of the Exposition of the sacred relics of St. Francis Xavier scheduled from November 22, 2014 to January 04, 2015. Against this background, the Commissioner for NRI Affairs has sought indulgence of the Union Minister for Civil Aviation to permit operation of additional flights to Goa from various gulf countries during the above period of festive season.

One such airline which has already announced introduction of daily direct flight from Abu Dhabi to Goa and back is Jet Airways w.e.f. Friday, 14th November 2014 as per following schedule:

Flight No. 9W0589 departing Abu Dhabi at 22.20 Hrs and arriving Goa at 04.15 Hrs the following day.
Flight No. 9W0590 departing Goa at 05.15 Hrs and arriving Abu Dhabi at 07.35 Hrs.

This will not only facilitate Goan expatriates to plan their holidays to Goa well in advance but also avoid hassles of transiting through Mumbai.

(U.D. Kamat)
Director for NRI Affairs