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‘Air Kerala’ to Herald New State-Centric Flag Carrier?

The Kerala government will soon launch domestic services of its proposed airline “Air Kerala” for fulfilling the mandatory requirement of the country’s civil aviation norm stipulating five year domestic operations before international flight services, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said Friday, while the move may trigger similar airlines by other state governments in the country.

“Though we have approached the union government for a relaxation in this norm, we are yet to get a reply from them in this regard. However, we have decided to go ahead with the project and launch a domestic service with a small aircraft connecting airports with in the state,” said Chandy at a face to face session with the NRKs at the Global NRK Meet that he had inaugurated earlier in the day.

Answering to a query from a NRK who sought subsidy on air tickets in Gulf sector, he said that Air Kerala project would be successfully implemented like the Cochin International Airport project and it would be beneficial to NRKs.

On another suggestion from a NRK that an education cell should be started exclusively for the NRKs to guide students who are willing to pursue higher studies in Kerala, Chandy said that the government would take all necessary steps to set up an education cell to help them.

Considering repeated pleas from NRKs and the general public that the new tax assessment for residential buildings was unfair, he said that the government had decided to put the new method on hold and would take a decision after thorough perusal.

State Labour Minister Shibu Baby John said that the state government would take all steps to provide certification to those NRKs who have acquired skills in respective jobs after being in service for many years.

Close to a 1,000 people, mostly from the Middle East countries were present in the two-day event.

Now that Kerala has taken the lead, it may prompt other states too to launch state flag-carriers on the lines of Air Kerala as many Telugu-speaking people are there in the US and Punjabis in Canada and Gujaratis in UK.

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