This is a discussion on Air Lanka within the Airlines forums, part of the Transportation category; Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday assured foreign and national airlines operating in the state that he would get central ...
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday assured foreign and national airlines operating in the state that he would get central government approval to operate additional flights in two days.
"What I want all of you to do is to put your proposals to me preferably today itself, so I can take up with the union civil aviation minister (Praful Patel) the required sanction to operate additional flights to clear peak season rush to the Middle East," Chandy told officials from the various airlines.
"I assure you that I will get the approval in a matter of two days," he promised at the meeting, organised after reports that close to 15,000 passengers bound for Middle East were stuck for want of flights.
The peak season will extend till the end of September.
While all foreign airlines as well as Indian Airlines were in favour of additional flights or increasing the number of seats, Air-India was the lone dissenter.
Senior Air-India official K.V. Kurian said at the meeting that they could neither operate extra flights nor upgrade their existing capacity.
"We have commitments from all over the country and have similar requests from Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad. So we are unable to do anything," he said.
An Indian Airlines official said they had sanctioned 16 additional flights and were expecting another six flights to operate from the three international airports in Kerala.
"We expect that close to 3,000 additional seats would be available on our Middle East routes during the current peak season," he said.
Air Lanka chief Asha Subramanion said they had more than doubled their carrying capacity compared to the previous year.
"Last year, during this season we had 13,300 seats. This time, we would have 24,000 seats. We would be glad to further increase the numbers as and when we shore up our operational schedules from Colombo to the Middle East."
While Kuwait Airways agreed to increase their weekly seats by 100, Emirates Airlines asked Chandy to get them approval for four additional flights. The request has been pending with the director general of civil aviation.
Qatar Airways and Oman Air officials said they would operate three extra flights each and were prepared to operate more if they had the necessary sanction.