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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Flights from UAE to flood-hit Kerala are cancelled

Services from Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports on hold as Cochin International Airport is closed

Flights from the UAE to Cochin International Airport have been suspended after dangerous flooding in the Indian state of Kerala. AFP
Flights from the UAE to Cochin International Airport have been suspended after dangerous flooding in the Indian state of Kerala. AFP

Flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to flood-hit Kochi have been grounded after the airport serving the Kerala city was closed.

A number of scheduled departures from Dubai International Airport and Abu Dhabi International Airport have been cancelled after it was announced Cochin International Airport will be closed from Wednesday until Saturday.

Authorities took the decision to close the airport after it was flooded by the deluge of rainfall that has flooded the area in recent days.

More than 40 people have already lost their lives in the heavy rainfall, which has led several dams to burst their banks.

Four flights set to take off from Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night were cancelled, with a series of departures from Dubai also postponed due to the deadly flash floods.

Emirates Airline has suspended all flights to Cochin International until Saturday.

The airline said customers who have booked to travel to and from the airport can change their flights or postpone their travel for up to seven days.

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Passengers are urged to contact their travel agent or booking office to make changes to their arrangements.

An Emirates statement said: "The situation is being closely monitored. We apologise for any inconvenience. The safety of our passengers and crew are our top priority."

Etihad Airways, which operates flights to the Indian state from Abu Dhabi, said passengers have been offered alternative flights where possible.

Etihad said: "Due to heavy rains and risk of flooding, Cochin Airport is temporarily closed. Consequently, Etihad inbound and outbound flights to Kochi have also been cancelled.

"Guests are being provided with alternative flights or accommodation where needed.

"Etihad Airways Guest Control team is assisting guests with rebooking and their onward travel arrangements.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this unexpected delay may have caused, and we remain committed to offering the highest level of service to our guests."

Passengers are asked to contact the Etihad Airways Contact Centre on 02 599 0000 for further information.