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More private airlines may operate on Gulf routes
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | January 07, 2006 20:18 IST
The Gulf sector will also open up to private airlines in the near future, Krishna Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs said on Saturday.
At a media conference on the first day of 4th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas convention in Hyderabad, he said that there was a specific, longstanding demand from the Non-Resident Indians in the Gulf for a budget airline.
The public sector Air India has already formed a budget airline called Air India Express, which is catering to the needs of Gulf NRIs. "With substantial fleet acquisition recently finalised, Air India is likely to operate more schedules to more destinations in the near future. I am sure Hyderabad will be one of them," he added.
Reacting to a comment that Air India's budget airline service was a 'punishment' for passengers, he said Air India was providing the budget airline services and there was a complaint that it was curtailing its regular schedules and operating more Express schedules.
"It (the budget airline) is a no-frills thing. There is some merit in what you say," he replied.
"The aviation sector is getting so crowded with more players entering the scene. I am sure the private airlines will soon knock at the doors of the Centre to give them foreign routes and schedules. This is going to happen soon," he said.
Recently, Air Deccan formed a subsidiary with Air Lanka and 'they are going to have schedules operating between Sri Lanka and south India. Other private airlines are also likely to form partnerships and operate more traffic in the Gulf region and other routes', he added.
Complete coverage: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2006