Indian gov't seeks to revive Air Kerala plan - report

Abu Dhabi-based businessman Yousuffali MA is reportedly seeking backing for project
Indian gov't seeks to revive Air Kerala plan - report
Abu Dhabi-based businessman Yousuffali MA.
By Shane McGinley
Sun 09 Sep 2012 10:47 AM

The Indian government has ordered a feasibility study into the possibility of revive plans for the  launch of Air Kerala, a project which reportedly has the backing of Abu Dhabi-based Indian businessman Yousuffali MA, it was reported on Sunday.

Kerala’s chief minister Oommen Chandy said the government will consider the proposal to revive plans for Air Kerala, the Indian state’s own airline company, according to the Express News Service.

Chandy made his comments at the 18th annual general meeting of the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) on Saturday.

CIAL managing director V J Kurian added that a feasibility study on the project was currently being carried out.

Abu Dhabi-based businessman Yousuffali MA, owner of the Lulu supermarket chain, said in July he was seeking backing to a Kerala-based airline.

Managing director of EMKE Group, Yousuffali stepped down as a director of Indian government-owned carrier Air India in July, clearing the way for him to focus on rejuvenating plans for an airline based out of the south Indian state.

"Since my induction into Air India board I have tried my level best to change the way the national airline has been working. But there has been no improvement," Yusuffali was quoted as saying by The Times of India newspaper.

Air Kerala was registered as a company in India four years ago and one of its key stakeholders is believed to be the Government of Kerala.

Yousuffali told reporters he is looking to attract backing for the Kerala-based private carrier at an investment event later this year.

"This proposal is going to be showcased in 'Emerging Kerala' - a business meeting to be held in Kochi in September," Yousuffali was quoted as saying by the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS), India’s largest independent newswire.

The carrier, which IANS branded as Kerala Airways but which is being called Air Kerala by other news agencies, will be aimed at the three million plus non resident Indians (NRIs) who are based in the Gulf and is likely to operated from Cochin International Airport.

Kochi, Kerala's second-largest city, is currently served out of the UAE by Sharjah-based Air Arabia.

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