Lulu's Yousuffali aims to revive Air Kerala plans

The Lulu retail boss will seek backers for the project at an investment event in September
Lulu's Yousuffali aims to revive Air Kerala plans
Abu Dhabi-based businessman Yousuffali MA.
By Shane McGinley
Sun 22 Jul 2012 03:03 PM

Abu Dhabi-based businessman Yousuffali MA, who owns the Lulu supermarket chain, is seeking backing to launch a new private airline based out of Kerala, it was reported at the weekend.

Managing director of EMKE Group, Yousuffali stepped down as a director of Indian government-owned carrier Air India at the weekend, 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 at the weekend 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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