Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) and Emirates (EK, Dubai Int'l) have received clearances from the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to operate widebody aircraft from Kozhikode in southern India, The Khaleej Times has reported.

Both carriers have sought such approval due to high demand from Keralan expat workers in the United Arab Emirates.

The initial permit covers only daytime operations and is valid for six months. Subsequently, the DGCA will review the operations and could expand the permits to cover nighttime flights as well.

"The airline operators may require some time to establish and implement their operations. It may be around two months," the airport director K. Srinivasa Rao said.

Widebody operations at Kozhikode have been banned since May 2015 due to safety concerns. Saudia (SV, Jeddah) was the first airline to secure DGCA's clearance to resume widebody flights to the airport in December 2018. It currently operates daily from Jeddah and 3x weekly from Riyadh using A330-300s, as well as Hajj charters to Madinah onboard A330-200s operated by Onur Air, the ch-aviation schedules module shows.

Air India currently operates its daily flights from Kozhikode to Dubai Int'l and Sharjah using A321-200s. Its subsidiary Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) also flies daily to Abu Dhabi Int'l, 2x weekly to Al Ain, 13x weekly to Dubai, and 8x weekly to Sharjah using B737-800s.

Emirates, lacking own narrowbody aircraft, does not serve Kozhikode, although it flies to Kochi Int'l (14x weekly) and Thiruvananthapuram (11x weekly) in Kerala, using B777-200(LR)s and B777-300(ER)s on the routes. The carrier's sister carrier flydubai (FZ, Dubai Int'l) flies 3x weekly to Kozhikode using B737-800 jets.