Thiruvananthapuram, 23 March, Sreeparvathy K.: Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Union Minister KV Thomas had…
New Delhi(PTI): Kerala Government on Thursday expressed displeasure over the Union government’s ‘neglect’ of the state’s repeated requests to find a solution to the alleged exorbitant fares being charged by flight operators, including Air India in the Kerala-Gulf sector.
Replying to a submission on the issue in the Assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said, “I had taken up the issue with Centre for the past 40 years. There has been no positive result for that.”
To the suggestion of N A Nellikunnu of IUML that all legislators from the state led by Chandy stage an agitation in Delhi over the issue, the Chief Minister said he did not think there would be a favourable approach even now. It was under these circumstances that the Kerala Government had decided to go ahead with the ‘Air Kerala’ project and sought exemption from the Centre on two conditions to start it, he said.
As per the guidelines, a new airline should have five years experience in operating domestic services and also a minimum of 20 aircraft to operate international flights.
“The state had sought exemption on these conditions,” he said, adding that though recent media reports had stated that the Centre had agreed to the State’s request, the government had not received an official communication from the Civil Aviation Ministry in this regard. It has been long pending complaint of lakhs of Keralities working in the Gulf countries that airlines charge exorbitant fares, especially during holiday and festival seasons.