Palakkad, Kerala: Air India subsidiary Alliance Air will from Monday operate several flights connecting Kochi to other key South Indian cities, including Bengaluru and Coimbatore, from the Kochi naval base. Operations are suspended at the Kochi airport due to Kerala floods. An official statement from the civil aviation ministry said that Alliance Air will operate 70-seater aircraft on these routes.

“Other airlines are likely to join this effort too. All possible steps are being taken," civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said, referring to his ministry’s efforts to give relief to stranded passengers. Earlier, air safety watchdog the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had advised Airlines not to overprice air tickets to Kerala. The international airport at Kochi is shut till 2pm, 26 August, due to flooding.

The worst floods to hit Kerala in the last 100 years has crippled infrastructure in the state, snapping links between different parts of the state.

The decision to open up Kochi naval base for commercial operations was taken on Saturday at a meeting of the National Disaster Management Committee chaired by cabinet secretary P.K. Sinha.

The union government has mobilized all agencies including the Armed Forces in rescue operations in the state. Kerala has suffered landslides and bridge collapses during the ongoing floods.

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