Kannur: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday commissioned the Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). Also Read - Sabarimala Row: Ashram of Sandeepananda Giri Attacked; CM Pinarayi Vijayan Assures Stringent Action Against Unidentified Accused

The first flight from the airport was flagged off by the chief guests at 10 AM. It was an Air India Express flight with 180 passengers to Abu Dhabi. All passengers received a gift each from KIAL. Also Read - Tamil Nadu, Puducherry And Kerala Likely to Receive Heavy to Very Heavy Rainfall From Oct 4 to Oct 8: IMD

This is the fourth international airport in the state, the rest are in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode. Also Read - Kerala Floods: Schools Across State to Open on August 29, Announces CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Hundreds of people, including politicians, were present to witness a cultural programme ahead of the take-off of the Abu Dhabi flight. Two more flights were listed for the day.

Flights that would operate from here include those to the UAE, Oman, Qatar, besides domestic ones to Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai among others.

The KIAL is slated to serve more than 1.5 million international passengers annually.

It is expected to boost tourism in Kannur, Kasargode, Wayanad and increase trade and commerce in the handloom and spices sectors. The airport would be able to handle 2,000 passengers at a time.