Kerala's own airline: Air Kerala to take off soon

In the beginning, the Air Kerala airline would be operating services, connecting the tier 2 and 3 cities. Photo: Air Kerala website

Dubai: The highly anticipated Air Kerala airline, conceived by a group of expatriate entrepreneurs and businessmen, has received NOC from the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The authorities now hope to begin domestic services with just two aircraft by the first half of 2025. Businessman Afi Ahamed, chairman of the domestic airline company Zettflly said that the company will begin services to multiple locations including the Gulf region as soon as it acquires at least 20 aircraft.
Kerala’s airline
The Air Kerala project that was envisaged by the Oommen Chandy government was almost abandoned. However, the Air Kerala website was inaugurated last year. Now, the dream project has achieved a major milestone as it received the NOC from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The expatriate dream
Air Kerala was the dream project of the Malayali diaspora residing in foreign countries, especially in the Gulf region. Currently, Air Kerala has received the approval for operating domestic routes. It is hoped that the brand-new airline service may revolutionise Kerala's travel and tourism sector. Zettfly Aviation vice chairman Ayyub Kallada said that it may be possible to find effective solutions for travel crises faced by expatriates from Kerala, including exorbitant airfares, in the coming years.
Connects tier 2 and tier 3 cities
In the beginning, the airline would be operating services, connecting the tier 2 and 3 cities. For this, three ATR 72 – 600 aircraft would be used. Meanwhile, the authorities are looking to acquire aircraft directly from the manufacturers. Aviation experts from Kerala who have significant experience in the industry too would be considered for the posts in the company. The company plans to begin services to foreign countries by acquiring at least 20 aircraft. Meanwhile, the owners perceive Air Kerala as a gift to the Malayali expatriates. Appointments to the top posts including the CEO have been recommended; other announcements will soon follow.

The owners see the approval from the ministry as a significant achievement for the Malayali community. Interestingly, Air Kerala would be the first airline company to be based in Kerala. Besides, it would be the first company started by an expatriate. Afi Ahamed said that the company would be operating services under the brand name Air Kerala ( He noted that they have been planning to make all Malayalis, including expatriates, a part of this mega project.
More than 350 career opportunities
In the first year, the company hopes to create more than 350 employment opportunities in Kerala alone. Around a year ago, Afi Ahamed purchased the domain for 1 million dirhams (around Rs 2.2 crore). Company’s secretary Aashiq, general manager Zafeer Muhammad and legal advisor Shihab Thangal also attended the press meeting. 

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