More flights to Gulf countries from Kerala during festive season, assures union minister
New Delhi: With an aim to ease transportation of NRIs during festive season, more air services will be operated from Kerala to Gulf countries. Union minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri has taken the decision following a meeting with MPs from Kerala.
The meeting was summoned by V Muraleedharan, union minister of state for external affairs at Parliament building on Thursday.
The MPs raised the issues including airfare hike, procedure for repatriating body from UAE, direct flight from Kerala to Europe and more domestic flights from Kannur and Kozhikode.
Addressing the meeting, Air India representative promised that Delhi-Kannur-Kozhikode flight service will be operated every day. At present this flight service is operated five days a week.
“Action will be taken to start more international services. A discussion will be held with airlines regarding operation of direct flight services to Europe from Kerala. Secretary for civil avaiation department is assigned to study the matter,” said union civil aviation minister.
At the same time, he asserted that a stand on hike in airfare during festive season should be taken after holding talks with airlines. He noted that airline companies expressed displeasure over cutting airfares.
But he assured that the government will consider establishing more services to Gulf countries during festive season.
At the same time, the union minister refused to discuss on privatisation of Thiruvananthapuram airport.
“The government has no plan to privatise airports. But some services will be handed over to private companies,” said the minister.
The MPs also sought the minister’s attention to implement free body repatriation of expats. Responding to this the minister promised that the matter will be discussed with Air India.
Addressing the media, minister V Muraleedhatan stated that a review meeting of civil aviation will be held in the next parliament meet.
Kerala MPs Shashi Tharoor, Adoor Prakash, NK Premachandran, Kodikunnil Suresh, Anto Antony, Thomas Chazhikadan, AM Ariff, Benny Behanan, K Sudhakaran, MK Raghavan, K Muraleedharan, PK Kunhalikutty, ET Muhammad Basheer, Ramya Harida, VK Sreekandan, PV Abdul Wahab, Elamaram Kareem, Bimnoy Viswam, KK Ragesh, Somaprasad and Jose K Mani attended the meeting.