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Salem Airport to be operational from November 15

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Set to fly: The Kingfisher Airlines has rescheduled its operation from Salem to Chennai from October 25 to November 15. –
Set to fly: The Kingfisher Airlines has rescheduled its operation from Salem to Chennai from October 25 to November 15. –

Special Correspondent

A sales team from Kingfisher Airlines visits city

SALEM: Salem Airport will be activated for its commercial and domestic operations from November 15 this year.

Vijay Mallaya’s Kingfisher Airlines, which has originally planned to operate flights in Salem-Chennai sector from October 25, has postponed it to November 15 due to ‘technical reasons.’ The airlines will operate from here during the forthcoming winter schedule.

This is the third airlines in three years to show interest in Salem Airport, which has been remaining idle for more than a decade. It is now restricting its operations to a few chartered flights and helicopter services.

Earlier Paramount and Air Deccan evinced “interest to fly” from here. But their plans have not taken off.

The General Manager (Network Planning and Charters), Kingfisher Airlines Limited, Mumbai, Elsa D’ Silva, in an e-mail response to S. Sathyanarayanan, President, Salem, Dharmapuri Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has pointed out that the airlines has rescheduled its operations from Salem from October 25 to November 15.

A source told The Hindu that the airlines would begin its operations as soon as the Airport is cleared for commercial operations by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). A sales team from the Airlines visited the city to study the feasibility of forging commercial link-ups, said K. Mariappan, President, Salem District Small and Tiny Scale Industries Association.

Air Deccan

Air Deccan had demanded that the trade and industry community should commit an undertaking in writing to ensure commercial viability for the operation.

Paramount, however, stopped at assuring the citizens that it would study the options before it could include Salem in their coverage.

The efforts to resume flights from the now-dormant Airport had thus ended in failure. In fact, a Joint Inspection Committee of the Airport Authority of India (AAI), Regional Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and Directorate of Civil Aviation inspected the Airport during 2006 to ascertain its worthiness for domestic operations and cleared it.

But Air Deccan, which took the initiative then, backed out.

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