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Foundation lobbies for Jet Airways

PTI | ByLalit K Jha (HindustanTimes.com), Minneapolis
Jul 04, 2005 07:12 PM IST

The Foundation has requested them to support the "foreign air carrier" permit application, reports Lalit K Jha.

The Ohio-based India Terrorism Victims Relief Foundation has started 'lobbying' for the Jet Airways India in the United States by writing letters to some 30 influential Senators including Hillary Clinton, who is Co-Chairman of the US Senate India Caucus and Senator Bill Frist.

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In letters to these powerful Senators, the Foundation's executive trustee, P. Narayanan Kutty, has requested them to write to the Transportation Secretary, Norman Mineta, and the Secretary of Homland Security, Michael Chertoff, supporting the "foreign air carrier" permit application of the Jet Airways India dated May 2.

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The letter is also being written to other Senators including Jon Corzine, Barbara Boxer, Norman Coleman, Charles Schumer, Joseph Lieberman, John Rockefeller, Carl Levin, Robert Bennet, Mike Crapo, Richard Durbin, Jeff Bingaman, Evan Bayh, John Cronyn, Thad Cochran, Saxy Chambliss, Tad Stevens, Trent Lott, Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham, May Landrieu, Rick Santorum, Arlene Specter, Barbara Mikluski, Frank Lautenberg, Charles Grossley, Bailey Hutchison and Barbara Stabenow.

Kutty told the HindustanTimes.com that he apprehended that certain vested sections were trying to defame the name of India through this process. "Thus the need to write letters to these Senators," he said.

The Foundation June 21 had filed an affidavit before the Department of Transportation in favor of the Jet India's application virtually giving clean chit to the allegations that it had any terrorist links.

In his letter on behalf of the Foundation, Kutty said India's largest private airline the Jet Airways (India) was facing some hurdles with the U.S. Department of Transportation on its foray into the United States as "certain false allegations" has been made against it by Maryland-based Jet Airways Inc.

Notably the Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Aviation and International Affairs, Karan Bhatia, had June 30 told HindustanTimes.com that there was no delay in the processing of the Jet India application and process of reviewing it would be "completed in due course".

Bhatia further said that under all U.S. open-skies agreements, approval of applications for the air service rights is subject to "normal regulatory" processes and same normal routine procedure was being followed in the case of Jet India's application also.

Stating that Jet Airways India was the first private Indian airline poised to fly between the United States and India via Europe, the Foundation said the Jet Airway's service would boost the economic, social and cultural ties between the two nations.

It also referred to the recent order placed by the Jet Airways India to Boeing at the recent Paris Air Show. Jet Airways India has committed to buy at least 20 Boeing planes worth over $2.8 billion at list prices, including ten 777 that will be used to boost international service, it said.

The letter said that the Indian Minister of state for Company Affairs, Premchand Gupta, has categorically stated that the complaint against Jet Airways India by the U.S. based airline company going by the same name was found baseless.

The Foundation said it has the patronage and support of the governments of India and Israel, and the former U.S. presidents, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Bill Clinton.

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