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Daijiworld News Network - with inputs and pics from Rajesh Sequeira from Bajpe - Friday 6-30 pm

Mangalore, Jan 13: It is an occasion to celebrate for all those who have been waiting to see an Airbus A-319 landing at the Mangalore Airport.  It is also time for all those doubting Thomases to change their opinion that an Airbus A-319 will never land at Bajpe. 

A long-awaited dream was realized when a Kingfisher Airbus having a seating capacity of 144, on a trial basis, landed for the first time at the Mangalore Airport at 3.40 pm on Friday January 13.  Capt D D Gandhi, VP flight operations and Capt Samant flew the Airbus to Mangalore.  There were 14 crew-members including the Directorate General of Civil Aviation official (DGCA) in the aircraft.

Later speaking exclusively to Daijiworld correspondent, Capt D D Gandhi said that it was a perfect homecoming for him since his wife hailed from the city.  "It feels great that I am part of a great achievement as this was for the first time in the history of Mangalore Airport that an Airbus A-319 has landed," he added.

Capt D D Gandhi being greeted on arrival at Bajpe by Rajesh Sequeira, coordinator, Karnataka NRI Forum, UAE

M R Vasudeva, director, Mangalore Airport said that in the coming days there would be a healthy competition between the airlines, and the passengers would benefit greatly from this competition.  "We want more and more airlines to come forward to operate from and to Mangalore," he added.

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