Though hailed as an ambitious project, ‘Air Kerala’ seems to be a far cry from reality. The experts say that the viability of the project is still in doubt.
The increasing fuel price, crisis in the aviation sector in the country and the absence of business class passengers in the state are the major factors which can effect the financial viability of the project.
Paulose K Mathew, chairman, Travel Agents’ Federation of India - Kerala, said that keeping in view that the 70 per cent of the pa ssengers to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries from India are from Kerala, the concept ‘Air Kerala’ becomes a prerequisite for the state. But whether the project is viable or not is something which has to be discussed in detail.
Almost 60 per cent of the operational expense in the airline sector is of fuel. Since the fuel prices keep on increasing, a newly-formed company will require huge chunk of money to operate. It is doubtful that the state and the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) can meet this challenge,” he said.