At the meeting, which was also attended Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, it was made known to the airlines that the state government was considering a proposal to lower tax on jet fuel to about one per cent, which could become a major factor in attracting airlines to up their operations to Andhra Pradesh, officials said.
    
Naidu also said his government would formulate an aviation policy for the state which would be designed keeping in view the needs of all stakeholders for the next 15 years.
    
The airline officials are understood to have promised to look into greater connectivity to Andhra Pradesh, with leading no-frill carrier IndiGo announcing a direct daily flight between Delhi and Vishakhapatnam from October 10.
    
The airline, whose President Aditya Ghosh was present, would also start a third daily between Vizag and Hyderabad from the same day. The decision to start these flights would make IndiGo the largest operator from Vizag with seven daily departures.
    
"It was amazing to see the Chief Minister listen to us and take prompt action. In return, we are increasing our flights as a demonstration of our commitment to the state," Ghosh said after the meeting.
    
Air India CMD Rohit Nandan said the national carrier was already flying to various airports in the state like Vijayawada, Vizag and Tirupati and would look into the issue of further enhancing connectivity.
    
Senior officials of Jet Airways, SpiceJet, GoAir and AirAsia India, who also attended the meeting, stressed the need for reducing sales tax on aviation turbine fuel which posed a major burden on the airline industry.
    
Representatives of foreign airlines like Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines and Emirates also attended the meeting.
    
The state government was working with the Airports Authority of India for expansion and modernisation of existing airports in Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Tirupathi and Kadapa and build no-frill airports at Chittoor district, Kurnool, Nellore and Srikakulam.

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