Kochi: In an effort to provide better connectivity to smaller cities across the country, the Centre is contemplating the introduction of 80-seater small aircraft, said civil aviation minister Praful Patel. More smaller cities would get connected in the near future, for which smaller aircraft would be acquired, he said, after attending the Parliamentary consultative meeting on civil aviation here.
The civil aviation ministry was also looking into the possibility of connecting various pilgrimage centres, including Tirupati, Sabarimala, Vaishno Devi, Ajmer Sharif and Shirdi, which can be developed into a good aviation network.
To keep pace with the massive growth in passenger and air-cargo traffic, about 2,000 new flights will be added in the summer schedule, effective from March-end. The ministry had moved a note to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) to allow 100% FDI in sea-plane operations to promote tourism and provide connectivity along India’s vast coastline, he added. On the proposed Air-India-Indian merger, he said the issue had been discussed by the group of ministers, and the next meeting would be held on 21 February.