Route scheduling for Air India Express will begin from Kochi as part of the shifting of the headquarters of the Air India subsidiary to the city, said Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation K.C. Venugopal here on Sunday.

He said that the headquarters of the airline was being moved to the city in a phased manner after the office began functioning out of Kochi on New Year’s day. The minister was speaking to news reporters after inaugurating a training session for Air Indian Express crew in the city.

He said that Air India Express service under Air India Charters Limited, will be an independent company in five years and that a notification appointing a full-time Chief Executive Officer for Air India Express was expected in a few days.

The Minister announced during the training programme that customer satisfaction held the key to the success of the air service and the Air India Express management would soon introduce a customer comment card. The customers’ opinion will be weighed in to decide on transfer and promotion of employees of the air service.

Mr. Venugopal said that the air travel package for those benefitting from the general amnesty in the Gulf countries will be announced soon. So far only 700 applications had been received from those on the general amnesty list, the Minister pointed out. A committee has been appointed to study the possibility of Air India Express services for pilgrimages. The committee is expected to submit a report within a fortnight on the packages for the Hajj and Umrah services.

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