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State welcomes Air-India move

By Our Special Correspondent

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MAY 31. The State Government has welcomed the Air-India (AI) management decision to float a `budget airline' to cater to the needs of NRIs in West Asian countries.

The Non-Resident Keralite Affairs Minister, M. M. Hassan, told a news conference here today that the Air-India decision to lease around 15 Boeing aircraft to operate budget air services between various Gulf destinations and Kerala would benefit expatriate workers from the State. The fares in such flights would be around 25 per cent less than the normal fares, he said.

Mr. Hassan said he had submitted a memorandum to the Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Praful Patel, on the need to operate budget services between India and various Gulf destinations and that he was happy that a decision on the issue had come so quickly. He had requested the Centre not to exclude Saudi Arabia from the coverage area of the proposed budget airline, Mr. Hassan said.

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