Chandy to take up AI Express HQ shifting with ministry

July 23rd, 2012 - 4:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, July 23 (IANS) Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Monday rapped Air India for ignoring the “genuine needs” of the state and said he would take this up with the civil aviation ministry.

“Air India is known as the national carrier of the country but the way they are doing their business is just not acceptable,” Chandy said in the assembly, responding to Congress legislator V.D. Sateeshan.

Sateeshan drew the attention of the house to the proposed move of Air India to shift the headquarters of Air India Express from Kochi to Mumbai.

“There have been reports in the media that the Air India Express headquarters is being taken back to Mumbai and this just cannot happen as 70 per cent of the passengers on Air India Express are from Kerala, and of the 17 aircrafts they have 15 operate form the Kerala airports. Moreover, the cabin crew is also based here,” said Sateeshan.

Air India Express is the budget airline of Air India.

Chandy said he too has seen the reports and would talk to civil aviation ministry.

“Its headquarters was moved to the state on Feb 27 last year… We will seriously take up this issue with the civil aviation ministry.”

Sateeshan said it would be better if Air India Express could be taken over by the Kerala government as part of the proposed Kerala Airways project.

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