Air Kerala, the dream project of the state, would emerge with the participation of one million people at an estimated capital of Rs 200 crore.
While delivering the presidential address at the special NRK session as part of ‘Emerging Kerala’ on Friday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy made it clear that Air India’s antipathy to the expatriates in the Gulf sector has forced the state to launch its own airline.
“We have raised many issues on Non-Resident Keralites and succeeded in most cases. But we were defeated in the case of Air India. Though we have raised the problems faced by the Gulf Malayalis on several occasions, they didn’t listen to our pleas,” he said.
The Chief Minister, who is also the chairman of Air Kerala, announced that the company would provide concessional tickets to those NRKs who were unable to fly to their homeland for a period of over five years.
All the speakers in the NRK session welcomed the airline initiative and congratulated the government on the endeavour.
Earlier in the day, giving wings to the aviation project, the first of its kind in the country, the first meeting of the board of directors chaired by the CM decided to give shares to the public at a minimum value of `10,000 each as against `2 lakh earlier.
The fleet of Air Kerala will comprise five aircraft.
The state govt, Cochin International Airport Limited and PSUs in the state would jointly invest 26 per cent of this amount while the rest would come from public participation.