Four years ago, Air India Express mentioned Kozhikode international airport in a list of India's "most beautiful airports and runways". On Friday, the budget airline's Boeing 737 aircraft crashed at the same aerodrome killing at least 18 people. The tabletop runway at the airport, located in Kerala, poses challenges for pilots at the time of landing and there cannot be any margin for error. A tabletop runway is constructed on a hilly or an elevated terrain.
In a blog post titled 'India's Most Beautiful Runways and Airports' dated August 26, 2016, the airline said the joys of flying are made even more spectacular when you are greeted by the scenic beauty of your dream destination.
Listing out some of the "most beautiful airports and runways located in places that are even more picturesque", Air India Express mentioned about Kozhikode airport.
Kozhikode is also known as Calicut.
"Calicut International Airport, also known as Karipur Airport, is an international airport serving the cities of Kozhikode and Malappuram in Kerala, India.
It is located in Karipur, about 25 km from Malappuram and 28 km from Kozhikode.
"The airport is one of only three tabletop runways in the country...built on a hilly terrain and can be challenging to pilots," the blog post on its website had said.
Other airports mentioned in the blog included those at Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Leh and Shimla.
About the Lengpui airport in Mizoram, the airline had said it is among the three aerodromes having a tabletop runway.
"The 2,500-metre runway of the Lengpui airport is unique as it has many hilly streams running underneath. The airport is one among the three airports in India that has a table top runway, which creates an optical illusion. It is located at a distance of 32 kms from Aizawl at an altitude of 504 m from sea level," the blog said.
On Friday, the Air India Express aircraft overshot the runway at Kozhikode airport amid rains and went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up into two pieces. The flight was operated as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.
Air India Express is part of Air India group and operates a large number of flights from Kerala to the Gulf region.