Two Malayalee Entrepreneurs Revive Air Kerala Plans

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Zett Fly Aviation Private Limited, trading as Air Kerala, has received an initial no-objection certificate (NOC) from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation to operate regional commuter air transport services. 

Afi Ahmed, chairman of Zett Fly and a Dubai-based entrepreneur, announced that the start-up intends to acquire and operate three ATR72-600 aircraft from Kerala state.

“We plan to raise INR 2.5 billion (USD 30 million) initially,” Ahmed stated. “Our goal is to launch a domestic carrier in Kerala in the first phase and subsequently expand into an international airline serving the Gulf-Kerala sector at affordable fares. We aim to connect Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities with Tier 1 and metro airports, enhancing accessibility and convenience for travelers across these regions.”

Afi Ahmed and Ayub Kallada

The current promoters of Air Kerala include Afi Ahmed, who is also the chairman of the travel company Smart Travels, and Ayub Kallada, vice chairman of Zett Fly and chairman and managing director of Kallada Food Industries.

Air Kerala was initially proposed in 2005 by the Kerala state government using a public-private partnership model. The project gained renewed interest in 2012 when a group of UAE-based investors planned to target labor traffic between Kerala and the Gulf countries. However, that proposal did not materialize.

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