Air Kerala is a proposed Indian start-up LCC which plans to operate services from Kerala state to the Gulf Region. The carrier will be supported by the state Government. Air Kerala was due to commence operations in Nov-2015. A precise launch date is still unknown but the carrier is 'hopeful' of commencing operations. Air Kerala previously stated that it will only launch services once constraints on conducting international operations (five years domestic operations and ownership of 20 aircraft) are lifted. Though the start-up now plans to service domestic destinations including Coimbatore, Mangalore and Trivandrum, with services to the Gulf region expected to start by 2017. Kerala State Government stated Air Kerala has received an exception from the 5/20 norms and plans to commence services soon. Air Kerala plans to operate unspecified 19-seat equipment.
In mid Jun-2016, India introduced a new civil aviation policy, with amendments to the 5/20 norms. According to the new policy, all airlines can commence international operations provided they deploy 20 aircraft or 20% of total capacity (in term of average number of seats on all departures put together), whichever is higher, for domestic operations. Air Kerala has not outlined its intentions following these regulatory changes.
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