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The pieces have fallen into place for the chief minister’s top priority project, which enjoys backing from wealthy Keralite businessmen in the Middle East and aviation infrastructure set up by Air India.

Air Kerala, the state government’s airline, would be launched April 14, 2013.

The chief minister explained that under the rules, an airline can only fly international routes after completing five years of domestic service; there is also a stipulation about the number of aircraft that an airline operating internationally should have.

“But Air India Express was given a relaxation in rules when it started international operations.  So, when the state government put up the application, we also sought similar exemption.”

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