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Centre okays Air Kerala, state’s first low-budget airline

Air Kerala, a new airline, has received approval from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, marking a significant achievement for the Malayali community. The airline, founded by expatriates Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada, will be based in Kerala and operate domestic flights, making it the first airline to be headquartered in the state. 

Centre okays Air Kerala states first low budget airline anr
First Published Jul 9, 2024, 3:14 PM IST

Kerala's long-awaited dream of having a budget-friendly airline connecting the state to the Gulf region has taken a significant step forward. Air Kerala, a venture led by Malayali entrepreneurs based in Dubai, has received a crucial no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Union Ministry of Civil Aviation, paving the way for the launch of an affordable airline service catering to the Gulf-Kerala route.

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Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada, the visionary co-founders of Zettfly Aviation, are driving the initiative to democratise air travel, making it more inclusive and economical for all.

Based in Kochi, the airline plans to launch domestic flights from Kerala, utilizing ATR 72-600 aircraft, pending receipt of the necessary Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), which is expected to take around eight to nine months.

The concept of Air Kerala was initially mooted by the Kerala Government in 2005, but the project stalled due to inaction. Undeterred, two entrepreneurs, Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada, took the initiative and acquired the domain name (link unavailable), reviving the dream of a Kerala-centric airline.

The co-founders, Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada, consider the ministry's approval a major triumph for the Malayali community. Notably, Air Kerala will be the first airline to be headquartered in Kerala and also the first venture founded by an expatriate. According to Afi Ahmed, the airline will operate under the brand name Air Kerala, marking a significant milestone for the state and the diaspora community.

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