Air Kerala: Budget-Friendly Flights Get Green Light from Govt

The brainchild of UAE entrepreneurs Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada, Air Kerala will be the first regional airline of India’s southernmost state of Kerala.

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The airline, registered as Zettfly Aviation, has permission to operate scheduled commuter air transport services for three years.

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Govt Gives Nod to Air Kerala

Air Kerala received the initial no-objection certificate (NOC) from India’s civil aviation ministry. This was announced at a press conference in Dubai

The low-cost airline Air Kerala has received the initial no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the airline announced at a press conference in Dubai. Air Kerala, registered under Zettfly Aviation, is the brainchild of Dubai-based businessmen Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada. According to a report by Khaleej Times, the airline has been granted permission to "operate scheduled commuter air transport services for three years." When the airline becomes operational, it will become Kerala's first regional airline.

Ayub Kallada

Now that they have the NOC, the airline must acquire aircraft and ensure compliance with regulatory requirements to obtain the Air Operator's Certificate (AOC), as stated by Kallada. He added, "This is a critical phase that ensures we meet all safety and operational standards set by the aviation authorities."

Afi Ahmed

Commenting on the development, Afi Ahmed said, "This is the result of years of hard work. My partners and I have been working tirelessly to make this a reality. Several people questioned us and dismissed it, saying it would never become a reality. We still have a long way to go, but the NOC is a big step."

Afi Ahmed, Ayub Kallada, and Kanika Goyal comprise Zettfly Aviation's board

Reportedly, Ahmed paid a local company one million dirhams a year ago to acquire the domain name, sparking hopes of revitalizing the Kerala government's long-time pipe dream—Air Kerala. Speaking about immediate plans, Ahmed said, "Initially, we are planning to start operations with three ATR 72-600 aircraft. We are currently exploring options in both the leasing market and direct procurement from manufacturers to ensure we have the best possible fleet for our operations."

The airline is expected to promote tourism and trade in Kerala and bring in at least 350 jobs to the city

However, Air Kerala must first operate regionally before it can fly internationally. Its initial focus will be connecting Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with Tier 1 and metro airports. Once its fleet expands to 20 aircraft, it will "start exploring international routes to expand our reach and service offerings," said Ahmed.Afi Ahmed

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