India Business
Air Kerala not to fly overseas: minister
Mar 13, 2007 - 8:09:33 PM

New Delhi, March 13 - The central government has rejected a Kerala government request to allow its proposed budget airline Air Kerala to fly to overseas destinations, as it does not meet the current norms for the purpose, parliament was informed Tuesday.

'The government of Kerala has informed that a public limited company, Air Kerala International Services Ltd, has been registered by the state government as a special purpose vehicle - for a budget airline project,' Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday.

The Kerala government had requested the civil aviation ministry to exempt Air Kerala from the conditions relating to fleet size and length of operations in the domestic sector for an airline to be considered for international operations, he added.

The ministry did not consider the request as the existing provisions of minimum fleet size of 20 aircraft and experience of five years of continuous operations in the domestic sector for permitting an Indian carrier to operate international services 'are considered essential for safe and reliable operations on international routes', the minister pointed out.

Besides, the Gulf routes that the new airline intends to take up are presently reserved only for Air India and Indian, Patel added.

A large number of people from the state are working in the Gulf countries and the state government wishes to provide more air connections to them with the proposed airline.

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