According to analysts, the decision to give international status to Mangalore airport would help more carriers from Gulf and Asia to connect with Mangalore.
Data shows that in the past six years, international passengers contributed more than one-fourth of the total passenger traffic at Mangalore airport.
Their share was 20.44 per cent in the calendar year 2007. It went up to 26.71 per cent in 2008 and a maximum of 31.43 per cent in 2009.
Some analysts feel that Malaysia and Singapore could be the target destinations for airlines to explore from Mangalore.
Air India Express is the only carrier that connects Mangalore with destinations in West Asian . At present, Mangalore is connected with destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Dubai, Kuwait, Doha and Qatar in the Gulf region.
Opportunities also lie in promoting education tourism to connect Mangalore with other international destinations, reports suggest. Both Mangalore and Manipal have a lot of educational institutions offering professional education in various streams.
Another destination that can attract passengers is Singapore. NRIs travelling to Europe, Australia or the US use Singapore as a hub. This should be explored, analysts feel.