On Friday, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that they would be launching air service to the Middle East with Air Kerala. Air Kerala is the proposed government airline and Chandy said that since they have a lot of their people concentrated in the Middle East, it was time to have a budget airline that the common man can afford to use. They will begin their operations with five leased aircraft and the initial investment will be Rs. 200 crore.
A total of 26% of this initial investment will come from the state government and the rest through the sale of shares at Rs. 10,000 crore each. These shares will be open to institutions and the general public. Chandy said the idea for the airline was first proposed in 2005, but was not supported. Ernst & Young had done a report for them in 2005 and they are now updating the report. Chandy also said they have approached Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the urgent need for the airline.
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