Tami Nadu CM requests Centre to resume Chennai-Tokyo direct flight | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Tami Nadu CM requests Centre to resume Chennai-Tokyo direct flight

May 31, 2023 03:20 PM IST

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin also requested Centre to increase the number of flights between Singapore and Madurai

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin, who is returning home on Wednesday from his 9-day trip to Singapore and Japan, requested Centre to reintroduce the direct flight connectivity between Tokyo and Chennai and to increase the number of flights between Singapore and Madurai.

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin in Osaka, Japan, on Sunday. (PTI)
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin in Osaka, Japan, on Sunday. (PTI)

In a letter written to Union civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, the chief minister said, “I wish to point out that at present there is no direct flight connectivity between Chennai and Tokyo. In October 2019, All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline, launched a direct flight service between Chennai and Tokyo which was discontinued during the Covid 19 pandemic. This service has not been resumed subsequently.”

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“The lack of direct flight connectivity more than doubles the travel time between these two destinations by about 7 hours, which is significant. There have been persistent requests from the Japanese business community in Tamil Nadu to resume direct flight services between Chennai and Tokyo,” he said.

Stalin, who embarked on the foreign tour on May 23 is scheduled to return home on Wednesday night.

The Tamil Nadu government has signed more than a dozen Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with Japan and Singapore during Stalin’s visit. He has been on a two-nation visit to attract investments and to invite prospective investors to attend the Global Investors Meet to be held in Chennai in January 2024.

Japanese conglomerates such as Nissan, Toshiba, Yamaha, Komatsu, Mitsubishi and Hitachi are already functioning in Tamil Nadu and Stalin said that Chennai has the largest Japanese community in India.

“The state is to host the Global Investors’ Meet in January 2024 and as we seek to attract greater investments from Japan, resumption of direct flights would indeed be a commendable measure,” Stalin said.

He pointed out that of the 12 industrial townships established in India under the Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership Program, three are in Tamil Nadu. “With more than 600 Japanese companies having establishments in the State, over the last two decades, the influx of Japanese expatriates has slowly increased and I am happy to state that Chennai is home to the largest Japanese community in India,” Stalin said.

Japan also has a significant Tamil diaspora, who in particular belong to the fields of Information Technology and finance related fields so there has been a steady strengthening of economic and cultural relations between Tamil Nadu and Japan and tourism is also growing, the chief minister said.

Singapore too has a sizable population of nearly 4 lakh people who are of Tamil origin, Stalin said, adding that many travel from the southern districts of Tamil Nadu to Singapore for employment.

There are multiple daily flight connections between Singapore and Chennai and Trichy, one daily flight between Singapore and Coimbatore and a tri-weekly flight between Singapore and Madurai.

“This issue of more flight services between Singapore and Madurai was raised by the minister for home affairs and law of the Government of Singapore, Thiru K Shanmugham when he met me,” said Stalin. “A similar request was also raised by many members of the Tamil diaspora in Singapore. I would be grateful if the request of permitting more flights to operate between Singapore and Madurai is favourably considered,” Stalin said. The chief minister requested an increase in the number of flights between Singapore and Madurai to at least one daily flight at the earliest.

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    Divya Chandrababu is an award-winning political and human rights journalist based in Chennai, India. Divya is presently Assistant Editor of the Hindustan Times where she covers Tamil Nadu & Puducherry. She started her career as a broadcast journalist at NDTV-Hindu where she anchored and wrote prime time news bulletins. Later, she covered politics, development, mental health, child and disability rights for The Times of India. Divya has been a journalism fellow for several programs including the Asia Journalism Fellowship at Singapore and the KAS Media Asia- The Caravan for narrative journalism. Divya has a master's in politics and international studies from the University of Warwick, UK. As an independent journalist Divya has written for Indian and foreign publications on domestic and international affairs.

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