UDF seeks NDA’s approval to revive Air Kerala project

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy informed the State Assembly on Wednesday that he had written a letter in this regard to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

By T.k. Devasia

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Published: Thu 17 Jul 2014, 11:05 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:04 AM

KERALA’S CONGRESS-LED United Democratic Front (UDF) government has revived its dream project, ‘Air Kerala’, by approaching the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government for sanction.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who floated the move for a low cost carrier to Gulf to ensure affordable air journey to Keralites working in the region during his last term in 2005, informed the State Assembly on Wednesday that he had written a letter in this regard to Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju.

Replying to a calling attention notice given by Abdurahiman Randathani of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), he said that he would personally take up the matter with the minister during his next meeting. The fresh move is in the wake of positive signals from the NDA government over relaxation of the conditions for international operations.

The project could not take off because of conditions stipulating five years’ experience in domestic operations and a minimum fleet of 20 aircraft for permitting airlines to launch international operations. The state had proposed to launch the airline with five leased aircraft.

The CM said the project will become a reality as soon as the federal government gave its nod. “Funds to implement the project is not an issue as many Non-resident Keralites have offered to invest in the venture. The flights will take off once we get the exemption on the conditions from the new government,” he added.

Chandy said the state government would look for another option of making Air Kerala as a subsidiary of any already operating airliner if permission was denied again.

news@khaleejtimes.com


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