The Indian government has granted international status to Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport in Varanasi, Mangalore Airport, Tiruchirapalli International Airport and Coimbatore Airport.
India’s finance minister, P Chidambaram, said in a statement to the media: “All these airports are capable of handling medium capacity-range, long-range type aircraft and are also equipped with facilities for night operations.”
Of the 454 airports in India, 16 have been designated as international gateways while a few others have been granted limited international status to operate a small number of overseas flights.
Rajendra Churiwala, director-eastern region, IATA Agents Association of India, said: “More international airports mean more inbound and outbound tourists. This (development) is expected to provide impetus to domestic and international tourism and contribute to economic development of the concerned regions.”
Joy Peter, director, Intersight Tours Kochi, said: “Greater connectivity to smaller towns and cities will spread the physical reach of inbound tourists and create an impetus for growth of both inbound and outbound tourism.”