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Panel approves ModiLuft aircraft import plan 

NEW DELHI, MARCH 2: A Government panel has allowed private airline ModiLuft Ltd, which suspended operations in 1996, to import five Boeing 737-400 aircraft, a senior official said on Thursday.

The approval by the civil aviation ministry's aircraft acquisition panel needs to be ratified by civil aviation minister Sharad Yadav.

"The aircraft induction plan (for ModiLuft) is subject to the condition that the airline clears all its dues to the Airports Authority of India, customs department and oil companies," the official, who did not want to be identified, said.

Industry officials said the import approval was expected to pave the way for ModiLuft to resume operations in the domestic circuit.

ModiLuft officials were not available for comment. ModiLuft, which began operations in May 1993, was among the first private airlines to enter the Indian skies after economic liberalisation in the country. It suspended operations in November 1996 after the collapse of its partnership with Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

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